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Ajšino Oro

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Information: A dance.

Ivon and Ciga Despotović A Macedonian dance to a Kosovo-Albanian song by Ciga Despotović and his wife Ivon Despotović-Eschweiler who introduced Ajšino Oro to the International Folk Dance community.

Translation: Ajše's Dance (Ajše is a woman's name).

Pronunciation: EYE-shee-noh OH-roh

Region: Macedonia

Music: A-4: Ajšino Oro. Albanian song (Z. Tupeči) Narodni Orkestar Radio Prištine. The music for this dance is a song: "O moj bukuroše," presented as a song at the 1980 North Country Folk Dance Camp, Minnesota.

Note: Might be the dance to the 2/4 song "Ku ke timor Ajše," now famous as a recent hip-hop hit from Kosovo.


Snipping from album-jacket biographic notes, Ciga was
          "Born in Belgrade."
          "Soloist of the world famous Yugoslav Company KOLO for 18 years."
          "Choreographed for many Yugoslavian dance companies."
          "Came to the Netherlands in 1966."
          "Taught Yugoslavian folkdances, national dances from other countries, and ballet."
          "Choreographed "new dances based on authentic motifs from various styles of Yugoslavian dancing (Serbian, Macedonian, Shiptar) making use of music which springs from the ancient folk-music tradition."

Ivon is Dutch and danced with KOLO for two years.

Ciga and Ivon produced their own albums on the RTB (Radio-Televizija Beograd) label, apparently anthologies of hot cuts selected from regular RTB issues. These albums lack catalog numbers, but the one with Ajšino Oro (Side I, Band 4) is "Volume 3" and unambiguously entitled Sixteen Yugoslavian Dances Created by Ciga and Ivon Despotović. Since there are precisely 16 cuts on the album, we may fairly conclude that the Ajšino they presented to Internnational Folk Dancers was choreographed by them.

Ciga carefully acknowledges the musicians for each cut. In this case:
          "4. Ajšino Oro (Albanian dance) (Z. Tupeci) Narodni orkestar Radio Prištine"

The other Albanian dance cuts on this particular album are:
          I-2. Keleč (narodni) Narodni orkestar Radio Prištine.
          II-2. Agimi (narodni) Narodni orkestar Radio Prištine [to me, this is a version of the "Memede, more, Memede" song melody to which Atanas Kolarovski taught the dance "Memede."
          II-5. Albanska Svadbena Igra (V.Kandić) Vladeta Kandić sa svojim ansamblom.
          II-7. Bračno Oro (G. Zajmi) Narodni orkestar Radio Prištine.

I have a dance description which gives no background information, such as the regional provenance of the "authentic motifs" used in creating this dance. If anyone knows more about the source material, I would be most interested.

I also have a musical score and lyrics for the haunting song beginning "O moj bukuroše" to which this dance is done. This document is from a syllabus issued in 1980 by the good old North Country Folk Dance Camp which used to be held annually in Minnesota. My copy of the lyrics has been materially improved by the editing efforts of my Kosovo-Albanian friend and fellow folkdancer Professor Latif Susuri, and we should be able to get a little help on a translation from that text.

Latif Susuri is a native of village Zhur between Prizren and the border alongside the road up onto the Opojë plateau, formerly plant pathologist in the Albanian-language university in Priština and more recently active in the underground university, current status and whereabouts unknown to me. Latif, who danced with "Ivo Lola Ribar" while attending the university in Beograd, lived with me for a year here in Madison as a grad student around 1980 and was an enthusiastic and skilled member of our folkdance community. If you hear any news of him or of village Zhur, which we have visited and in which we have stayed on half-a-dozen of our Balkan journeys, please let me know! It is only a few kilometers from the border-crossing going down the Drim to Kukës.

Michael Kuharski


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