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Poland is a nation rich in culture, and musical tradition.In fact, Poland has five National Dances. There are few countries in the worldthat have even one national dance. Other than Poland, it is only Columbia thathas more than one national dance.
Contrary to appearances, the Polka (directlytranslating into English - Polish woman) is not anational dance of Poland.Poland’s national dances are: the Krakowiak (Cracovienne), the Mazur (Mazurka), the Polonez (Polonaise), the Kujawiak, and the Oberek.These dances, which originated in the Polishcountryside, were so popular that they found their wayto the royal court, and were even included intoclassical works by composers like Chopin.
The Krakowiak dances origin dates back to 16th or 17th century and its name tothe 18th century to the southern Polish city of Kraków (Poland’s capital in the 16thcentury) and the Malopolska region. Its English common name is Cracovienne(taken from French language).Krakowiaks rhythm was the musical base of several compositions of manyfamous Polish composers, e.g. F. Chopins Krakowiak op. 14 for the piano andthe orchestra (1828), I.J. Paderewski Fantastic Krakowiak, K. SzymanowskiKrakowiak for the piano and many others.
The costume of Kraków is the onethat is most identified with Poland.Maybe because it is, perhaps, themost decorative of all Polish folk-costumes.Clothes used in Krakowiak:Men - striped trousers, long coats ofdark colors, belts with metalelements and characteristic capscalled rogatki with the peacocksfeathers.Women - long skirts with flowersornament, white aprons, boleros withcolor ornaments, wreath of flowers,usually with color ribbons.
Known as the Polish national dance, the Krakowiaks metre is counted on 2/4 withcharacteristic, syncopated rhythm, and is danced in groups, often forming intricateformations, like stars. The steps include shuffling, running, and heel clicking.
The Mazur’s origin takes place in the16th century in Kujawy and its name- in Mazovia (Mazowsze) - the regionof central Poland around Warsaw,whose inhabitants were calledMazurs. The name of Mazur appearedfor the first time in 1752 so it wascreated later than the dance itself.In 17th century, Mazur becamepopular in the whole country. In wasdanced in villages throughout Poland.It, the same as every folk dance inPoland, had also its varieties and theirpattern depended on the social statusof people who used to dance it. Thus,there was an urban Mazur danced intowns and different one for the gentryand nobles.
The dance itself spread over right after Poland lost its independence - it came tothe courts of Paris, London and other fashionable meeting places of WesternEurope. Mazur then was the only thing that was reminding of Poland and Polesas a great nation.Mazurs rhythm was the main theme of many remarkable composersmasterpieces, e.g.: S. Moniuszko, F. Chopin, K. Szymanowski and many others. Itfound its way into famous operas and ballets. Not only Polish ones.So popular was the Mazur in Poland that most of that country’s patriotic songshave a Mazur tempo, including the National Anthem - the Dabrowski Mazurka(Mazurek Dąbrowskiego) created in 1797 as a Song of Polish Legions.
Since there are at least four different socio-historical versions of the Mazur, there are a variety of costumes available for performance: the dance of the nobility - the clothing of the 17th-century Polish nobility wearing fur-lined jackets (kontusz) and hats for men and shorter skirts and different shoes used by the Polish gentry for women the salon dance of the Napoleonic era - Napoleonic uniforms, and special square hats bearing the national emblem, an eagle on the front for men and Empire gowns, long gloves and at times light, flowing scarves covering their almost-bare shoulders for women the dance of urban folk - the costumes of different regional varieties, for instance the boldly colored, striped skirts and capes ofwomen from the Łowicz area in central Mazowsze, or any other type of the Mazovian costume or a peasants dance from central Poland - differ considerably from historically documented clothes worn by peasants from the region in the 19th century. Each type of dance and clothing emphasized different class characteristics of Polish society.
With its quick 3/4 tempo accented on the 2nd or 3rd beat, and intricate steps, heel clicking, slides, and running steps, the Mazur is improvisatory in character. It is danced by couples who rotate around the dance hall and present a variety of gestures. As an "exhibition" dance it is regarded as the "most exciting and intricate of the five national dances of Poland„*. It is described the as filled with contrasts: "it combines the fiery spirit with pride and elegance, vivacity with lyricism, dignity with joy, and boldness with gallantry.„** Dziewanowska, Ada. Polish Folk Dances & Songs: A Step by Step Guide. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1999
The Kujawiak originated also in the Kujawy region of North-CentralPoland in the 19th century. From the very beginning Kujawiak was a dance,which was to show the dignity of dancers. It had been created as a simple,slow dance. And because of this dignified simplicity, it was quicklyembraced by the gentry.With its melancholy rhythm and beautiful movements the Kujawiak is withouta doubt the most romantic of Poland’s five national dances.
The costume worn by the dancers is that of the Kujawy region. Clothes in Kujawiak: Men - characteristic red shirts, bluecoats and trousers, sometimes the cap is being worn.Women - long, blue skirts, blue boleros and white aprons tided at the back.
In fact, the Kujawiak existed in two main forms: slow one, as it was mentionedabove, and as the regional folk dance, more lively and with lots of varieties oftempo, steps and figures. With a 3/4 tempo that alternates between very slow, and fast, the Kujawiak went through many incarnations as it passed back and forth between the peasants and the nobility, each group adding to the style of the dance. It features spinning turns and elaborate gestures, and is usually danced in a circle of pairs, which are moving around it without any particular progression or tempo changing.The Kujawiak often features three parts: a processional or simple walkingintroduction, a middle section of slow graceful turns, and a lively ending full of fastspinning.
The Oberek was originated in Mazovia region tooand its name appeared for the first time in 1679as obertas (so-called from the Polish verbobracać się, which means to spin). It was playedby small village bands dominated by the violin,along with an accordion or bass, and a drum.The Oberek, the same as Mazur and Kujawiak isregarded as a dance of Mazur rhythms as they aresimilar to each other and differ mainly with tempo(Oberek is the liveliest and the fastest one).Many Polish composers used to create Obereks:K. Szymanowski, H. Wieniawski and, of course, F.Chopin, whose fastest Mazurs are indeed Obereks(e.g. Mazurek op. 56 no. 2).On the contrary to Mazurs and Polonaises, foreigncomposers hadnt composed Obereks so oftenand the dance itself didnt become popular outsideof Poland.
Folk costumes from many regions ofPoland are associated with the Oberek,though the colorful striped costume ofthe Łowicz area is favored by manydance troupes.Clothes in Oberek:Men - pants made from striped cloth,high black boots, long dark vests andwhite shirts.Women - wool skirts made of stripedcloth, white shirts covered with tightvests embroidered with flowers andbright kerchiefs.The costumes are extremely rich incolours and ornaments.
The dance itself is very difficult as it is being danced in 3 metre with fast tempoand quite complicated steps and figures. It includes many changes and progression in the circle of pairs that follow around both clockwise and counterclockwise. There are many turns and twirls, and the occasional lifting of both women and men in it. The dancers must be well skilled, as Oberek is a dance of many difficult figures of clicks.On the other hand, it is enjoyable and carefree, full of energy shown by thedancers.
The Polonez, has its roots in the 17thcentury. It had developed from the dancecalled chodzony (walking dance) as itsfigures consist of walking around the dancehall. Chodzony traditionally opened up ballsand weddings in country villages throughoutPoland with the bride in the first pair and thegroom in the second one. At the beginningthe music was sung but later, when Polonezcame into the upper class courts, it wasaccompanied with music of the bestinstrumentalists.The Polish name of the dance, polonez,stems from the polonized form of theFrench term polonaise which wasintroduced in the 17th century (also acceptedin English); the Polish term replaced theearlier name of the "Polish dance" in the18th century.
While the Polonez may be dancedwearing a folk costume from any ofPoland’s ethnographic regions, it isusually performed with the dancersdressed in kontusze, the costume ofthe Polish Nobility of the 17th century.Clothes in Polonez:Men - large satin-and-silk ornamentalbelts (pas słucki), high boots, longovercoats with slit-sleeves lined with fur(kontusz) and fur hats with feathers andjewelsWomen - fur-lined kontusz with long slit-sleeves, and fur hats with jewels, thelong skirts and high boots.The whole body is covered and thefabric is heavy, lustrous and rich,though without bold patterns or widelycontrasting colours.
Danced to a slow 3/4 tempo, with the characteristic knees bowing before the firststep, partners do not face each other, but rather walk to the music around theballroom forward, back, side, often bowing, but always maintaining a formal, statelyposture.Heads are putup high andturned once tothe partner,once to thepeople aroundand hands putin the air onthe side(ladies) andon the hip(gentlemen).
Polonaises were being composed by many remarkable artists, among who thereare Bach, Beethoven and Schubert, but it was the Polish greatest composer -Fryderyk Chopin, who made it popular and unforgettable.A solemn andtriumphantPolonaise byWojciech Kilarfound its wayinto famousmovie based onthe Polishnational epic„Pan Tadeusz”.In addition to the dance, the Polonaise music is often the basis for PolishChristmas carols (kolędy).The Polonez is still danced in Poland today at the beginning of many ceremonials,e.g. in schools and colleges as a first, common dance before the students’ proms.
thank you for your attention made by: Oliwia Berdys Maria Gonzales Bueno