The Bilgoraj suite of dances comes from the Lublin region in south-eastern Poland. It features several dances including a waltz, a polka and builds to an oberek near the end. The women’s white costumes make this dance stand out visually from all others. The ladies’ floral, ribboned headpieces and the men’s energetic dance steps create a playful and lively dance.
The region around the city of Cieszyn is located in southern Silesia bordering the Czech Republic. It is a semi-mountainous region traditionally known for its being a pastoral area. The Cieszynski is performed by festively dressed women, while the men wear a simple shepherd costume in traditional colours. The dance portrays pastoral themes and elements exemplifying simple dances and formations, which could include children signifying strong family values.The men wear a blue vest and pants. The vest is decorated with brass buttons. The white shirts have no embroidery.The women wear long black skirts. Overtop of the skirts is a floral-muted apron that looks like tapestry. They have black velvet vests, which are decorated with gold applique. The belts are made of metal strands and include a large buckle on the front. The white blouses are decorated with eyelet work, and silver necklaces are worn. The women wear crocheted white caps, which are covered at the back by a woven scarf.
Krakowiak is one of Poland’s five national dances, it is a lively Polish folk country dance from the Krakow area. The original form of the dance, the colourful costumes and the lively rhythm have made it a favourite throughout the centuries. The name of the dance comes from the seventeenth century. At the end of the eighteenth century krakowiak characteristic rhythms appeared in symphonic music, and at the beginning of the nineteenth century this dance became popular in the stage and instrumental music.
Colorful and ornamental costume of Krakow was the only Polish folk costumes considered to be national. The boy wears a red four-cornered cap with a tuffed peacock feathers and colorful ribbons. On one side of the belt there are decorative plates called brzękadelki or (jingle jungle). Girls wear a wreath of colourful flowers with the ribbons at the back flowing down. Beautiful velvet vests are decorated with colorful embroidery, sparkles, sequins, beads and ribbons.
The region of Kurpie in northeastern Poland has only been settled since the 16th century, mostly due to the presence of two vast forests. These two forests were called "Puszczy Zielona" (Green Wilderness) and "Puszczy Biala" (White Wilderness). Although the people of this region were forest dwellers, they developed lively and energetic dances not unlike those found in the mountain regions of southern Poland. The dance presented here comes from the more northerly Puszczy Zielona. This particular choreography shows off the variety of steps found in the region, ranging from slow movements to intricate footwork. The men's costume consists of a plain white linen shirt worn underneath a short red jacket. Underneath are white pants. The men wear black caps).The women wear striped wool skirts, mostly red, and overtop they wear a vest. The white linen blouses have little ornamentation although the women always wear necklaces made from amber. A very ancient element is the black velvet hats decorated with flowers or ribbons
This Lowickie suite is a collection of dances originating from the region of Lowicz located in central Poland. The women embroider brilliant flowers onto their white linen sleeves and collars. They hold their arms out gracefully during the dances to show off their handiwork. The colorful stripes on the women's wool skirts and aprons and on the men's pants represent the long strips of farmers' fields. During the colder times of the year, women wear their heavy wool aprons as capes to keep themselves warm. The beautifully and richly embroidered costumes reflect the rich customs and romantic atmosphere prevalent in the dances.
Tance Lubelskie originate from the region of Lublin, which is located in the southeast of Poland and is known as a cross road between the Eastern and Western Europe. The folklore from this region has many influences from its eastern neighbours which can be seen throughout the dance both the dancers steps and costumes. Tance Lubelskie that will be performed today are comprised of the romantic and nostalgic Lublin Waltz, the popular walking dance of Mach, the fast moving Cygan, the energetic Polka Podlaska and Oberek. These dances display a variety of rhythms and tempos with a constantly changing direction of movement.
The Sacz region in Southern Poland lies in the heart of former trade routes between Poland, the Czech and Hungarian regions. This richness of influences and traded goods allowed the people of this part of the country to design elaborate costumes with intricate embroidery. The dances presented here feature some of the characteristic elements of the region including an all-male dance designed to impress the women.
The Opoczno region is characterized by fertile lands, forests and meadows. The people of this region designed beautifully-coloured wool costumes and their dances feature lively music and fast-moving formations.
Dances from the area Przeworsk, located in south-east part of Poland, are very lively and dynamic and carry many humorous lyrics. Dances from the area Przeworsk consist of several parts and various elements of dance. A characteristic feature of this sub-dances rate is variable, passing gradually from moderate fast to very fast Crisscrossed by trade routes and shifting borders, this region is noted for its diversity of dances, five of which our junior dancers will perform today.
Each of these dances will tell you a different story. Majdaneczek is a dance about a farm boy working in a field. Szewc dance will tell you about a shoe maker who works hard to make shoes. Sarna (deer in Polish) is a lively shuffle dance with few hops similar to a galloping deer. Also, dancers will demonstrate their drama skills in a short dance Ciurylo. Ciurylo is boy who is not being welcome in town (in this case, not welcome on a stage).
Spisz comes from a small region of Poland in the borderland of the Carpathian mountains, just north of Slovakia. The region is an reflection of the historical relations between Poles, Hungarians, and Slovaks. It is a very vibrant and exciting dance that has drawn its style and costume from the crossed over relationship of those ethnic groups.
Tance Zywieckie come from the mountain region of Poland. This dance consists of various lively dances: Kon, Obyrtka, Szustany, Sarna and Hajduk, and each of them demonstrate different elements of dancing: galloping, skipping, stomping and lots of spinning, which can make your head spin.