hrcak mascot   Srce   HID

Original scientific paper


Iva Niemčić ; Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (427 KB) pages 69-91 downloads: 2.642* cite
APA 6th Edition
Niemčić, I. (2005). Valcer i salonsko kolo od 19. stoljeća do danas. Narodna umjetnost, 42 (2), 69-91. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Niemčić, Iva. "Valcer i salonsko kolo od 19. stoljeća do danas." Narodna umjetnost, vol. 42, no. 2, 2005, pp. 69-91. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Niemčić, Iva. "Valcer i salonsko kolo od 19. stoljeća do danas." Narodna umjetnost 42, no. 2 (2005): 69-91.
Niemčić, I. (2005). 'Valcer i salonsko kolo od 19. stoljeća do danas', Narodna umjetnost, 42(2), pp. 69-91. Available at: (Accessed 22 September 2020)
Niemčić I. Valcer i salonsko kolo od 19. stoljeća do danas. Narodna umjetnost [Internet]. 2005 [cited 2020 September 22];42(2):69-91. Available from:
I. Niemčić, "Valcer i salonsko kolo od 19. stoljeća do danas", Narodna umjetnost, vol.42, no. 2, pp. 69-91, 2005. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 22 September 2020]

The path taken by the waltz in its spread throughout Europe also leads us to Zagreb, and we can then monitor it through all of Croatia. Since not much was written about the dance itself at that time, I have found information in various social chronicles and newspaper reports on urban dance socials that were organised then. Following the trail of the arrival of the waltz in Croatian dance halls, it was unavoidable to compare it with the Croatian social pair dance, the salonsko kolo, or salon circle-dance, which was conceived as a patriotic response to the charms of the waltz. For that reason, I deal in the text with the arrival, spread, co-existence at dance socials and the survival of the waltz and the salonsko kolo.
At the beginning of the 1830s, Zagreb was the centre of the National Revival, the Illyrian Movement, oriented against Hungarian nationalism. The social life of Zagreb was very rich at that time. The major and most popular social events were public dances with entertainment. Dancing and parties took place largely in the winter months and during Carnival tide, and these dance socials were held in several halls in the city centre of Zagreb. All these parties and dance events were reported on by then-current newspapers such as Danica Ilirska, which provided me with the information that I present in the text about which dances were performed and how folk and urban pair dances intertwined at the time of the Illyrian Revival. Danica came out continuously for fifteen years, from 1835 to 1849.
The most popular dance was the waltz, which was the source of many misunderstandings both because of its non-Slavic origins and the opportunities it gave for direct physical contact between the dances (Sremac 1988:143; 2001:36). With the entry of the waltz into the repertoire of dance events, the interrelation between the dances and/or the organisation of the couples on the dance floors changed. During the Illyrian Revival, "a lively battle was waged against the seductive Vienna waltz, which our ladies defended with persistent pleas and melancholy sighs", and the inventive Count Jurica Oršić ordered that Croatian melodies be played in three/four time thus ensuring that "patriotism was satisfied, while the waltz was nevertheless danced" (Premerl 1974:140).
However, those same dancers who so skilfully danced the waltz, polka, mazurka and certain other dances so popular in Europe at that time, had considerable difficulties with the traditional circle-dance, which was gradually becoming a component part of repertoire at urban dance socials. Patriotic citizens had yet to learn the steps of the traditional circle-dance (Franković 1977:15). The traditional circle-dance that is also known as the salonsko kolo stressed the regional cultural identity of the Croats, contrary to the other popular 19th century social dances such as, for example, the waltz and the polka (cif. Dunin 1988:110). Still, it would be hard to believe that bourgeois society would have accepted the folk circle-dance in its original choreography and music form, so the appearance of a choreographed circle-dance is hardly surprising (Sremac 1988:143). Thus, we cannot speak of the kolo-dance in question as a popular or folk dance, but rather as a salon dance with figures based on a Slavonian traditional dance (Dunin 1988:110).
So it was that the Croatian and Slavonian circle-dance became irreplaceable in a very short time at all the dance socials in Zagreb and throughout Croatia, but also, for example, at the Slavic balls in Vienna, where it was performed as a social pair dance on an equal footing with the waltz, the polka and the mazurka. This was contributed to largely by the symbolic national significance of the circle-dance, which elevated typical bourgeois dances to the level of general traditional dances. (Sremac 2001:44).

pair dances; the waltz; the salonsko kolo; the polka

Hrčak ID: 2927



Visits: 3.201 *