15 – 19 July, 2009

The International Folklore Festival this year is the 43rd instance of this event. Like before, it features select folklore ensembles and informal folklore groups from Croatia, representing all Croatian regions or, rather, the diversity of their folklore forms. The Festival also hosts groups from other European countries and from other continents.

The program includes two shows dedicated to specific themes: Istrian folklore and the circle dance as the universal dance form connecting local and international participants. The Istrian theme is complemented by side events: folk church singing and ethno-music concerts.

The 43rd International Folklore Festival is accompanied by a CD promotion (Traditional Church Folk Singing on the Island of Šolta) and by numerous music and dance workshops which have in recent years become a sort of trademark of the Festival.

The program of the International Folklore Festival takes place in Zagreb from Wednesday to Sunday on the third week of July, and in two stages: in the Upper Town (Gradec Stage) and on the Josip Jelačić Square. The participants will also perform outside of Zagreb.

CIRCLE DANCE as the proto-form of dance

The circle dance is a primordial and universal form. It relies on the multiple symbolism of the circle – as the symbol of community, protection, perpetual motion, perfection. It is a part of dance heritage of many a people and culture. Joint movement, most commonly in a closed or open circle, links the individuals into harmonious communities of dancers. The circle can be composed of men, women, or both. It can contain only couples, and still be called a circle dance in some cultures.

Many circle dances contain elements of ancient rituals: circles around fire – represented in Easter and Midsummer circle dances, wedding, harvest and death circle dances. The meanings of those dances have long been forgotten. In time, the social role prevailed: a circle composed of equals, facing one another and communicating in harmonized movements, sometimes even verbally – through songs or improvised texts that use the emphasized rhythm to intensify joint movement and contents to express the dancers’ mutual relations.

In recent times, the circle dances of Croatia have had a particularly significant social role. The dance is a sort of a public platform used to present the new generations, girls and boys ready to marry. The dance serves as a meeting place for the village community: some dance, the others watch and comment. There are two distinct types of circle dances that have become prominent in Croatia:

one belongs to the mountain or Dinaric region, the other to the middle and eastern parts of the country. The former, especially in its older layers, is characterized by a six-part dance pattern, familiar in many parts of the world. In the latter, the circle is a dominant dance form with numerous versions which preserve ritual significance in their older layers, and in more recent times represent a social event and a mirror of the village community.

In this festive performance participate the ensembles from Croatia (Kalinovac, Veleševec, Orubica, Gospić, Mirlović Zagora and Šiškovci), Bulgaria, Montenegro and Macedonia.

The International Folklore Festival was held under the patronage of the Croatian Parliament.



Programme ‘Kolo’:

GOSPIĆ, FA “dr.Ante Starčević”
KALINOVAC, KUD “Grgur Karlovčan”
ŠIŠKOVCI, KUD “Slavko Janković”
VELEŠEVEC, KUD “Veleševec”

Programme ‘Folklor of Istra
BARBAN, KUD “Barban”
CERE, Josip Galant i Frane Šugar, FD “Cere” members

GALIŽANA, Comunita degli italiani di Gallesano “Armando Capolicchio”
KRŠAN, KUD “Ivan Fonović Zlatela”
LANIŠĆE, singing group
MARUŠIĆ, instrumental group “Šaltin”
PODGAĆE I PRAPOĆE, Josip Žmak, Anton Šverko, Zorko Ziraldo
RAŠA, Klaudio Franković, član Kulturno-umjetničkog društva “Raša”
ROČ, instrumental group”Štrace”<
ŽEJANE, FD “Žejanski zvončari”
Noel Šuran and Vlado Benussi

World music concert: Šuran, Karlić, Šajina i Farkaši, Franko Krajcar & Indivia Band

Church folk singing: folk singing groups from Lanišće and Lindar and church choirs from Marčana, Sv. Petar u Šumi, Žminj


ALGERIA, Sidi Bel Abbes, Cultural Association “Concordia & Reconciliation”
BULGARIA, Bistrica, Folklor ensemble “Bistrica”
MONTENEGRO, Cetinje, KUD Njegoš
INDONESIA, Jakarta, Krida Budaya
IRELAND, Drogheda, Brú na Bóinne
JAPAN, Hakodate, Hinokiya
HUNGARY, Sopron, Soproni Pendelyes Kulturális Egyesület
MACEDONIA, Ohrid, FA Ohridski biseri
PORTUGAL, Porto, Rancho Folclórico do Porto
GREAT BRITAIN, Corscombe, Babylon Morris
ZAMBIA,Chikuni, Liverpool Youngsters