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Elsie Dunin Information: A dance.

Biserka appears on records such as Jugoton LPM-5. Folkraft 1567 contains the AMAN Folk Orchestra medley of Biserka-Bojerka.

Translation: Pearl (or figuratively jewel)

Pronunciation: BEE-ser-ka bo-YER-ka

Other names: Biserka (only), and Bojerka (only)

Source: Janković, Narodne Igre Vol. 1, pp. 34-35: the same dance as Devoja─Źko Kolo.
     Bojerka (no. 22): 6/8, from the district of Pomoravlje
     Biserka (no. 23): 3/8, from Jagodina

Region: Serbia


Elsie Ivancich Dunin taught Biserka-Bojerka at the 1968 Santa Barbara Folk Dance Conference as learned from Desa Djordjević at a 1967 folk dance seminar in Yugoslavia.

Elsie quotes Desa Djordjević as saying that Biserka was performed at elegant balls in Serbian towns at the turn of the century, one of the "Ballroom Kolos" created by dance masters based on folk dance but performed at urban balls in a more genteel style for the nobility, forcing them to be simple, stately, and elegant.

It was common in the late 19th century to interpolate popular songs and dances into "komadi s pevanjem" (plays with singing), which were something like musical comedies. I've often wondered about connections between ballroom Kolos and these musicals, as the style and setting seems similar and they were popular at the same time with similar clientele.

Dick Crum taught a Romanian "Hora" in Ithaca in spring, 1991 to a 6/8 Romanian melody in Hora Mare tempo. Such tempos occur rarely in Serbian music, but not the melodies, especially in Vojvodina with its large Romanian minority and musical sharing.

–Mark Forry


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