“Silence oriented” would be the best way to describe an East European dance form known as Nijemo Kolo. This “silent” dance is said to have originated from the Dalmatian Hinterland located in southern Croatia. It was in the year 2011 that UNESCO included this dance form in its list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage”. Furthermore, this dance form is mainly performed during festival, competitions, fairs, and festive occasions such as a wedding.

A. History/origin of the Nijemo Kolo:

According to the cultural history of Croatia, this dance was first created in the country by communities belonging to the Dalmatian Hinterland located in the south. Furthermore, it was developed to be performed mainly during auspicious and celebratory occasions such as weddings and feasts. In addition, in the year 2011 this dance style was officially included by the UNESCO in the “Intangible Cultural Heritage” list.

B. Costumes used in the Nijemo Kolo:

The costume used in this dance form varies according to the gender as follows:

1. For males:

The attire worn includes a white long sleeve shirt, a red overcoat, a black long trouser, and a pair of shoes.

2. For females:

The attire worn includes a plain or an embroidered top, a skirt, an apron, a pair of shoes, and a headgear.

C. Music involved in the Nijemo Kolo:

Although, this dance involves use of no music whatsoever, but may at times involve the use of “rera, ganga, or okanje singing” and a instrument such as a twin reed shepherd’s flute locally known as “diple”.

D. Training availability and the technique involved in the Nijemo Kolo:

In terms of technique, this dance is basically performed by dancers (male as well as female) arranging themselves in a circle. Furthermore, the male performers then lead their female counterparts on the floor and dance using extremely energetic and spontaneous feet movements. In addition, the unique feature of this dance style is that it is performed mainly without the use of any music. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world since this “silent” dance is mainly performed in Croatia.

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