Tuesday, 26 May 2009

What's the time? Kolo time! II

I guess by now everyone who reads this blog is already aware of my huuuge passion for kolo and folk dances, in general. Made a post a while ago on the basics of kolo, and a couple of videos to illustrate the post and all (you can scroll this page down for the previous post on kolo or click here)

Anyways, as people here seemed interested in kolo, here's a some videos for you guys (bear in mind we made these videos for fun only :)

This is from a couple of years ago... I had just learned how to dance it and was trying to "teach" it to a friend :)

This one is waaaay more recent: me and Chica having some fun with Čačak :D

And at last but not least, this is me and Chica again, memorising a Vlaške igre routine for a presentation:

Hehe, enjoy! :D

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A quick hello...

Big plans, news pretty soon.

My return to moj dragi Beorgad had to be postponed a few months, but's gonna happen, of course. Tours, car trips, parties and so on... Lots to come!

In the meantime, I keep drinking my špricer, having my burek (brought from a bulgarian shop in São Paulo, since we don't have it in Rio) and, of course, partying big time - Balkan style, of course!

Ladies and Gents: the party I produce in Rio on Brazilian television, with english subtitles!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

What's the time? Kolo time! I

Anyone who have been to Serbia and surroundings have for sure heard about "kolo". Kolo is for Serbia as samba is for Brazil: kolo is the quintessencial serbian dance, is the thing that each serbian citizen is supposed to know how to dance from the day he/she was born - even though (like samba in Brazil) this is not always necessarily true (I am brazilian and I have no clue on how to dance samba).

Kola (serbian plural for kolo) can be very slow and easy, or fast and freaky, depending from the rigion they come from, as kolo can be found all over Serbia and neighbouring countries. The music is usually played by accordions, frula (a serbian flute), violins, percussion and, several times, by brass instruments like trumpets (those played by as many different instruments as possible are the coolest although, in my opinion, accodions are a must when it comes to kolo).

Kolo dance is usually danced in circles - hence the name (kolo means "wheel", "circle" in serbian) - or lines, by two people to several dozens, holding each other's hands while doing the basic steps (always starting to the right):

two steps to the right
one to the left
another one to the right

two steps to the left
one to the right
another one to the left

Discribing it like this might makes kolo sounds rather boring, but it isn't: once you get used to the rithym and the basic steps, kolo becomes rather addictive. I always catch myself moving my feet when I'm sitting on a bus, or waiting on a queue :)

Although the basic steps are rather simple, due to it's many variations from town to town kolo can be added of many ornamental elements and some crazy syncopated steps. Some of the most famous kolo types are Užičko (from the Užice region), Moravac and Čačak (these two from regions with the same name) among many, many others. click on the word links to see videos
In Serbia, kolo is all around: musicians on the streets always play it, people dance to it on kafanas (Serbian bars), clubs, parties and so on. It's kinda magical, cause it's a dance that makes people that never met before get together and dance, hand in hand. I'll never forget when me and my brazilian friends danced kolo for the first time on a kafana or when me and my belgian friend, Valerie, stopped in front of a roma brass band on Knez Mihailova (Belgrade's most famous street) and danced together with some gypsy kids that were around, attracting a crowd of several dozen people that stopped to watch us - an unforgettable moment :)
Kolo is the dance that best expresses the "spirit" of Serbia and it's warm, welcoming and well humoured people. That's probably why I love kolo as much as I do.

My plane arriving in Belgrade

The best feeling ever: landing in Belgrade :)

Monday, 2 February 2009

Moj dragi Beograd

And as an opening to my "posting-return", a song :)

Мој драги Београде

Била сам у Прагу и Лондону
Прошла кроз Атину, Вечни рим
Видела сам Напуљ и Верону
Јарким сунцем обасјани Крим

Гледала сам раскош и богатство
Многе чари сретала сам тад
Али нигде, нигде не пронађох
То што има мој вољени град

Мој Београд срце има
И у срцу љубав чисту
Београд руке шири свима
Сваком радост пружа исту

Ја се дивим чарима Париза
Праг ће увек бити златни град
Поштујем их али љубав моју
Има само мој вољени град
Мој драги Београд

Lyrics translation soon!