Music: The Tamburitza
Croatian folklore uses a variety of instruments—percussion, strings and wind. However, the stringed tamburitza is, by far, the most popular instrument used in Croatian folklore. Shaped and sounding like a lute or mandolin, the tamburitza is believed to have originated from the Byzantine Empire, making its way to Croatia where it was modernized to its current specifications in the late 19th century. Today, Croatian tamburitza orchestras exist all over the world.
In Canada, tamburitza orchestras, large and small, have played an important role in bringing great joy and inspiration to immigrants and their descendants, fostering pride and awareness as Croatian music is shared across this land.
The tamburitza comes in several sizes with different string counts, which result in a variety of complementary sounds and tones. The five basic types of tamburitza are called bisernica or prim, brač, bugarija, čelo and berda (bass). Croatoan’s repertoire includes Croatian folk music, as well as Canadian, international, classical, popular and sacred music.
Dance: The Kolo
A fundamental part of Croatian traditional folklore, regardless of the ethnographic region, is the kolo. Some variation of kolo is danced in almost every part of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and is almost considered a synonym for dance.
Performers generally dance in circular formations. Performers can be solo in the circle, in couples, or divided up between smaller circles. The footwork and dance steps vary from region to region, however, there are common steps such as the polka that are used throughout Croatia.
Another major theme is storytelling. Be it a daughter singing to her mother about the cold winter in Međimurje, or a young couple getting married in Podravina, Croatian folklore evokes timeless themes of love, community and the landscape.
Croatoan collaborates yearly with numerous choreographers to supplement, enrich and develop the knowledge and skills of our many dedicated teachers—ensuring that what we teach is authentic.