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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

U Šest Koraka

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BACKGROUND

Information: A dance.

Translation: In six steps. In Serbian dance terminology, a "step" consists of a leading movement plus a following movement. So the six steps of U šest (the "sevens" variation) are:

  1. Step R, step L
  2. Step R, step L
  3. Step R, step L
  4. Step R, hold
  5. Step L, touch R (or RL)
  6. Step R, touch L (or LR)

Pronunciation: OO SHEST ko-RAH-kah

Other names: U Šest, Moravac, Sitno Kolo, Bosansko Kolo

Region: Serbia


DOCUMENTS


COMMENTS

Excerpt from Dick Crum notes from the 1989 Balkan Camp at Buffalo Gap:

"U Ε‘est, short for U šest koraka ("in six steps") is the single most popular kolo in Šumadija and the rest of Serbia . . .

"Basically, U šest is an evolved form of an old Serbian dance-type known as Kokonješte (Kukunješće) by Serbian dance specialists. The many dances of the Kokonješte family are based on a symmetrical movement pattern:

  1. Facing R, step R with a lift of L (cts 1,2)
  2. Facing ctr, step R to R (ct 1); touch L beside or in front of R (ct 2)
  3. Reverse action of movement 2
  4. Repeat action of movement 2
  5. Reverse action of movements 1-4

"The above pattern was popular in Serbia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the early 1900s it became fashionable to 'double' the steps in Kokonješte, by which was meant stepping R, L, R, l (in double time) during meas 1 and changing the 'step-touches' of meas 2 into a small 'three': RLR in place. Based on the Serbian definition of a 'step' ('korak'), this resulted in a total of six steps, and this new form of Kokonješte came to be called U šest.1

"Each individual Serb has his own U šest, and since the dance is still today a living, organic part of the Serb's life, its variations with in the four-measure basic pattern are infinite, constantly changing and evolving.


1 The concept of 'korak' differs from the common English idea of 'step': whereas in English any shift of weight is considered an independent step, a 'korak' is less precisely defined; it may be a step with a given foot followed by and including the next movement of the other foot (touch, close, etc.). Tabulation of the 'koraks' in U šest looks like this:

  1. R(L) R(L) 2 koraks
  2. R(L) R (touch L) 2 koraks
  3. L (touch R) 1 korak
  4. R (touch L) 1 korak

     Total = 6 koraks


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