Karpaty currently has the following dances in its repertoire:
The Polonez is a one of five National Dances from Poland, is one of Poland’s most widely-recognized traditional dance forms. At the height of its popularity in the 3rd quarter of the 19th century, the Polonez was enormously popular throughout the ballrooms of Europe, as far as east of Moscow. The dance is stately walking processional with specific figures for couples and groups.The Polonez is still danced in Poland today as the opening dance at student proms.
The Mazur is regarded as one of the five Polish national dances. Like most national dances originated with peasants, from the Mazowsze region in east central Poland , was embellished by the social elite into an intricate, elegant, and swift-moving dance form. For the Polish, Mazur was the last reminder of Poland as a once-great nation. In fact, it even became the Polish National Anthem. This dance became immediately widespread after Poland lost its independence. It arrived at the courts of Paris and London and other fashionable gathering places of Western Europe . Mazur also became very popular in European courts under the French name of Mazurka. The rhythm of Mazur is well known from Mazurkas created by the famous Polish composer, Frederic Chopin.
The Oberek originated from the Mazowsze region but it is the only one of the five National Dances to maintain its peasant integrity. Oberek music is lively, vigorous and fiery. It is joyful and noisy dance with fast tempo and vibrant steps.
The Krakowiak is one of the most popular and characteristic Polish folk dance, being originated in Krakow, the previous capitol of Poland. The dance has many steps and figures. The songs while accompanying the dance, talk about love, war, praise the richness of the costume, charm of the girls, or beauty of the Krakow towns cape.The most distinctive elements of this rich costumes are long peacock feathers in the male dancer’s hat, and jingling brass rings attached to their belts. The costumes for these dances were created with all of the characteristics of fine embroidery, and the beautiful attention to detail for Poland’s regional dress is famed.
Dances from the White Forests of Kurpie
From the rich primeval forests of Northeastern Poland comes a robust and rousing suite of dances. Beginning with the dance “Konik” (the horse), men carry in a horse and rider completely constructed from the dancers themselves. Konik breaks apart into a line of men who then proceed to mimic the characteristics of a row of ducks. Numerous flirtatious and vibrant dances follow, all climaxed by the rousing “Kozak” dance which fills the stage with swirling dancers.
Dances from 1920s Warsaw and Lwow
Commonly referred to as “The Paris of the East”, Warsaw and Lwów in the 1920s was a busting hub of human activity. Urbanization was only beginning to take effect, and farmers began to move into the inner city looking for stale jobs at booming factories. The result found pop culture clashing with folk cultures, culminating into a blending of styles.
Young people gathered at cafes following long days at work,and listened to big bands play tangos,waltzes, and polkas.
Dances from Rzeszów
Our vigorous suite of polkas from the city of Rzeszów,