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2013-2014 Show Notes

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First Half

IGRALA BI DERE: "I Would Like to Dance"

The tamburitza instrument is perhaps the single most recognized symbol of Croatian folk culture. Long-standing and signature to the Tamburitzans has been its musical presentation of the full tamburitza orchestra, and coupled with light-hearted songs, the Tamburitzans displays a kaleidoscopic slice of Croatian musical life.

RASPJEVANI MAÐARSKI HRVATI: "The Caroling Hungarian Croats"

Baranja is an area which straddles the border between northeastern Croatia and southwestern Hungary. Croatians, who have lived there for many generations, inhabit the villages in Hungary near the town of Pécs*. Their dances retain their Slavic character, with little or no influence from the surrounding Hungarian culture.

*In the past, on Sunday afternoons in the village gathering place, the Croats from Baranja assembled. With the company of good wine, they played, danced and sang late into the night. Through songs they send each other messages, and taunt or tease one another, sharing their feelings.

PODRAVSKI ČARDAŠ: "Čardaš from Podravina"

A song-story about a true village celebration in Podravina, Croatia - a party with good people and good music. A variety of tempi, harmonies and musical expressions extracts the authentic mood of this peasant festivity.

BANATSKA JE RAVNICA KO MORE: "Banat is Flat like the Sea"

It is well-known that the inhabitants of Banat are a cheerful and lively people*. These characteristics are expressed in their dances "Šaranac" and "Momačko nadigravanje," which are danced by the men only. The men compete to determine who can dance the hardest figure using canes, knives and bottle to show their agility. The shaking of the legs is an imitation of fish in the water.

*Banat is an ethnically mixed historic region of Eastern Europe; it is bounded by Transylvania and Walachia in the east, by the Tisza River in the west, by the Mures River in the north, and by the Danube River in the south. The residents of the rich Banat plains--Romanians, Hungarians, Croats, Serbs and others--are carefree and always ready for a joke, music and song.

TRI PTIČICE: "Three Birds"

Bela Krajina ("White Country"), located in southeastern Slovenia, is so named for the abundance of birch trees found there. In a blending of Dinaric and Alpine cultures, the tamburitza and other traditional instruments combine into a pleasant musical style. Using birds as a symbol of love, happiness, health and prosperity, "Tri Ptičice" aptly illustrates the gentle nature of the Slovenian people.


Skočná is one of the most popular but difficult Czech dances. A forest in Bohemia lends a gentle breeze to send playful love into the carefree hearts of a young couple, and the dancers whirl through the polka and sousedska dance styles.

OD KAKO SAM JA DEVOJČE: "Since I was a Young Girl"

A young girl was never kissed by a boy. She chats with her friend on the way to the springs. As the sun descends behind the hills, the moon gives light like the dawn, and they return with their buckets of water.

IGRE IZ DOLINE TIMOKA: "Dances from the Timok River Valley"

The Timok River Valley has some of the oldest archaeological sites in Europe--from 5000 BC through Roman times, the Serbian middle ages, and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Influenced by the blending of cultures, basic dance steps were shared across villages, while each retained its distinct flavor. As we travel down the river, we experience the beautiful voices of the village women, and abundance of irregular rhythms, and the fun-loving spirit of the inhabitants of Timok.

SHOPSKA IGRA I KRASAVSKA RUCHENITSA: "Shope Dance and Krasav's Ruchenitsa"

Based on a popular Bulgarian folk dance ruchenitsa, this musical tour features the accordion and clarinet, along with the tambura, a stringed cousin of the tamburitza, and the gadulka, a rustic, stringed instrument which is bowed in an upright position.

TRAKIYSKA MLADOST: "Youth in Thrace"

Thrace region is bound by the Balkan mountains to the north, Rila Mountains to the west, Pirin and Rhodope to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. This wide and fruitful land has embedded deep marks in the character of its people. The men in this region deeply re-live the dances, always with strong feeling and liveliness. The women are more conservative, yet proud; they dance with pleasure and never cross the borders of socially-accepted behavior. The typical line dance horo brings all to the square--men and women, young and old meet again to dance and witness the love of a young couple and tell the story of Dobri, who "...stepped on the white marble stone and aimed at the grey dove. He missed the dove, but hit his poor heart."

Second Half

SOMOGYI KÉPEK: "Pictures from Somogy"

The western Hungarian region of Somogy lies south of Lake Balaton, Central Europe's largest lake, and is adorned with rolling hills, vast forests, lush pastures, and many centuries-old traditions and melodies. This picturesque area comes to life in the form of spirited shepherds, virtuosic bottle dancers, and the energetic csardas, Hungary's national dance.

TAXIM/EHO APOPSE RANDEVOU/ASEME PROTA NA XEHASO: "Taxim"/"Eho apopse randevou/Aseme prota na xehaso"

Two spirited Greek songs are preceded by a taxim, or improvisational style of Greek playing. In the first song a young girl is overwhelmed with joy that she has a date with a very special friend. The second song describes the hurt from a love gone wrong which must be resolved before considering another.

POLISJKI TANTSI: "Dances from Polissa"

Polissa is the western marshy flatlands of Ukraine. The dances from this region are known for their intricate stamping rhythm, high leg movements, and a fast-paced polka, influenced by the former Polish rule.

DO ŠTO E SONCE I SNEGOVI: "Why is there Sun and Snow..."

Macedonia lies in former Yugoslavia, Greece and Bulgaria. The country is filled with breathtaking views of mountainsides, lakes and forests, as well as beautiful music and songs. "Girl, why is the deep snow melting on your hands?" "Where there is a mountain, I will pass over it; a river, cross it; fire, through it. I am yours. Open your gates and I will come in with you."

MASHKI IGRI OD MAKEDONIA: "Men's Dances from Macedonia"

With characteristic sharp and precise temperament and movements, fast tempos and different and varied dance-step combinations, dancers must be linked by belts while performing. Shopska Petorka (Shope region) is a highly stylized dance for five dancers. Kopačka (from Pijanec, east Macendonia) follows the sounds of the traditional tapan drum. Dedo Dimo (from western Slavishte) is part of the dance "Sedenka," usually with five or six men.

HRNČIARSKY TANEC: "The Potters' Dance"

As the girls sing, "...about the love for the handsome boy, while waiting at the edge of the Danube for his visit...," the three potters prepare the wheels to make the beautifully painted 'vases'--and the girls commence the into the karička, or "devil's dance!"

SZATMÁRI ZSIDÓ NÓTÁK: "Music of the Szatmár Jews"

The northeast Szatmár region of Hungary was widely inhabited by those of the Jewish faith before their population was tragically decimated as a result of the horrors of the Holocaust. A prayerful Hassidic folksong starts off this musical selection, featuring some of the beautiful melodies that were fortunate enough to survive over the last generations. "The rooster is crowing, and in the open field, a little bird waits for me. I will be yours--if it is God's wish."

RUSSKYL PRAZDNOVANIE: "Today's the Day for Celebration"

In northern Russia, villagers gather to celebrate daily life. The men, attempting to win the eye of the ladies, "show off" their swiftness and flexibility with a variety of daring tricks which expose their truly playful character, while the girls do their own movements and encourage all to do more! The colorful musical variations add to the delight of the atmosphere.

CIGÁNSKE PIESNE ZO SLOVENSKA: "Gypsy Songs from Slovakia"

Famed as musicians throughout Eastern Europe, the Gypsies or Roma have their own distinct culture and language. "Joj, Mamo" tells of a little child's desire for money to buy some food, while in "Loli rokl'a" a wife's yearning for a new blouse and flowers is granted by her husband, who also presents her with a beautiful red skirt to proudly wear.

ROMALE: "Gypsies"

Gypsy culture extends all over Eastern Europe. Captivating melodies combine with vivacious colors to take you on a journey inside this nomadic lifestyle. Men perform complex dance steps to percussive instruments, as the alluring and provocative movements of the women call to the men's attention. Fast footwork and driving rhythms are distinct qualities of gypsy dances, as the Tamburitzans presents its concluding celebration of the spirit of folklore.