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Tanac & Drmeš

In addition to the mute circle dance, the hrvatski tanac, or mišnjača (the term deriving from mijeh, the ancient aerophonic instrument with a bag, which accompanies the dance) is also found in Lika, a mountainous part of Croatia. The instrument is widely played in the mountainous region and is also known on the Adriatic islands.

The intermingling of mountainous and coastal dance elements can also be observed in the Lika region. In other words, the tanac dances are also found on the islands and on the mainland of the entire Croatian coast. They are usually danced to a mijeh accompaniment. The tanac dances are almost always made up of a number of figures. Dancing in a circle interchanges with dancing in two lines facing each other and with dancing in couples around the circle. These are couples in which the female dancers often rotate intensively, while the male dancers make fast mincing steps, sometimes clapping their hands perform various figures. The island tanac is similar to the balun dance in Istria, the peninsula in the northern part of coastal Croatia. It is believed that some elements of an older dance, the tanac, which was widely danced in the 19th century in Croatia, have been adopted by drmeš dance, which is similar in some details to the Hungarian czardas.

Apart from being danced by couples, the drmeš is often done in smaller or larger circles. This is the best-known and most popular dance in north-western Croatia, and two basic dance figures are performed. The first is done in small steps with relatively little movement through the dance area, but with marked vertical shaking of the entire body (drmati in Croatian means to shake, hence the name of the dance). In the second figure, the dancers rotate at unusual speed. This is definitely one of the most temperamental Croatian dances.


Source: HrvatskaZora.com


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