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ZAMAGURIE – LENDÁK

Lying in the valleys amongst the Tatra Mountains, the Goral people of this region are very proud of their beautiful surroundings and the distinct characteristics of their regional dialect and folk dances. The Tatra Mountains are one of the most beautiful regions in the world and has a unique climate, which affected the way people dressed. This region is also unlike any other in Slovakia and is easily recognized by the challenging dance movements, unique songs, and bright costumes worn. .

Na Gola – is a dance about the men and women on their way home from spending the day in the mountains and how they meet for a good time, celebrating the day in song and dance.

Choreography and Music from FS Magura; modified for Veselica by Zuzana Fidriková and Pavel Melich

ZEMPLÍN

The people of Zemplin are easily recognized by their distinctive dialect and passion for fast and dynamic dancing. People always say that the further east you travel in Slovakia, the livelier the dances get. The men often accompany their fast-paced and complex leg slapping routines with the chiming sounds of spurs. The girls wear brightly colored costumes while singing and performing intricate footwork and dancing in circles, known as Karička.

Zemplínská veselica – this dance portrays a traditional evening of dance and music in a Slovak village of this region. These types of dance events were usually organized on Sunday afternoons. Girls wore their best Sunday dresses and show off themselves first by dancing karicka and then pair up with boys to dance until late evening hours.

Choreografia: Zuzana Fidriková

Music: Pavel Melich

Karičky – is the most frequent girls‘ dance; specially characteristic for this region. Girls used to dance karicka during the music breaks at the local village dances. They usully start by singing and continue into vigorous spining and creating varios shapes and lines.

Choreografia: Zuzana Fidriková

Music: Pavel Melich

Lyžičkový tanec –This is a very unique boys‘ dance. Boys used their spoons as musical instruments and create a various rythms accompanied by play of musicians.

Choreografia: Jaroslav Mjahký

Music: Pavel Melich

Nebudzem se ženic – This dance depicts the heartache of leaving to go off to the military and having to say goodbye to your sweetheart. This dance shows how one defiant man calls out to his friends about his unwillingness to get married and leave his family and friends heart broken while he is away. As his sweetheart tries to convince him to marry her before he leaves, his friends join in the persuasion in an attempt to change his mind through their spirited songs and dances.

Choreography and Music from FS Magura; modified for Veselica by Zuzana Fidriková and Pavel Melich

Fľaštičky – This is a lively girls‘ dance with bottles. Girls dance with and around the bottles in a complicated variations of steps.

Choreography: Helena Pavliková

Music: Pavel Melich

Hry pri rajbačkách– Singing always accompanied the hard work of people in Slovak country or to celebrate a completion of one season. This dance and songs also depict girls and women meeting at a village spring to hand wash their laundry, but still find enough time for singing and a little bit of dancing.

Choreography: Marek Gabríš

Music: Pavel Melich

SPIŠ

The Spiš region is one of the most beautiful regions in Slovakia. It is characterized by unusual nature, great amount of historical monuments and preserving of folk traditions. The northern side is bordered by the peaks of the High Tatras traversing through the Belianske Tatras to the unique scenery of the Pieniny range with the river Dunajec. The east is enclosed by the range Levočské pohorie. The southern side of the Spiš region is edged by the range Spišsko-gemerské rudohorie and the Slovak Paradise.

Do šaflíka – This playful dance is actually the oldest dance from Veselica’s repertoire and was first performed in 1999. This dance portrays how the people in the village would get together to help each other out during harvest time. The stomping of cabbage was always an excellent reason for the people to have fun and play tricks on each other, instead of thinking of the chores they needed to perform and the long day ahead of them.

Choreography and Music: Karol Purc, FS Magura; modified for Veselica by Zuzana Fidriková and Pavel Melich

LIPTOV

The Liptov region lies in the strip of land between the towering peaks of the High Tatras and the tree-covered hills of the Low Tatras, an area of rolling fields broken occasionally by a scenic church steeple. Liptov lays claim to some of the best preserved folk architecture in Slovakia – after all, they say this is where the Slovak traditional food “halušky” comes from – as well as the Slovak national folk hero, Janošik. In addition, some of the country’s nicest lakes, its longest cave, and the highest peak in the Low Tatras are located in this area of Slovakia.

Dances from Liptov – Veselica has selected a series of songs and dances from this region in hopes of capturing the playful and energetic spirit of this area. The long, flowing skirts of the girls, the soft leather shoes worn by the dancers and improvisation of songs and dances are all common characteristics of LIPTOV.

Choreography: Zuzana Fidriková

Music: Pavel Melich

Na svätého Jána– This number portrays the old Slovak traditions related to celebration of the Saint John’s day. During this day and especially around midnight, boys and girls woud burn bunfires to be protect from sickenss, bring rich harvest or fulfill a neverending love of two young people. This dance portrays these customs and traditions a very playful and entertaining way.

Choreography: Zuzana Fidriková

Music: Pavel Melich

BALOCKÉ MELÓDIE

This is a series of melodies form Central Slovakia, starting at River Hron to Polana and Podpolanie. The melodies from these regions are considered to be the most peculiar displays of shepherds‘ culture with richness of various unique music instruments.

Music: Pavel Melich

THE SHEPHARD’S FIFE & TRAVNICE

Some of the most unusual folk instruments are made by shepherds tending flocks high in the mountains, who often find themselves alone during much of the summer months. As a means of amusement and a demonstration of their fine craftsmanship, they have fashioned numerous woodwind instruments. These are beautifully decorated with delicate carvings, and sometimes inlaid with metal or bone. The instrument most often used by the shepherds is the pastierska píštalka (shepherd’s whistle). However, the most unique and most valuable instrument of the mountains is the fujara (pronounced: phu-are-a)- the shepherd’s fife – which originates from Central Slovakia. Resembling a modern-day bassoon, it measures from 4 to 16 feet in length, and has only three holes for playing. When played, it emits soft haunting tones that mingle with the wind and are carried over the mountains for miles.
Fujary are the typical folk instruments of mountain shepherds who play mainly for their own enjoyment and are rarely played with other musical accompaniment. As no two fujary produce the same sound, a fujara can also be used as means of communication. Often accompanying the sounds of the fujara, are the beautiful voices of the girls singing in the mountains.

Songs: Hanka Hudačeková and Zuzana Fidriková

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