Čiča Obrenova Kolo

[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Alternative Names 'Čiča Obrenova Kolo' is the original spelling.
'Chicha Obrenova Kolo' is a phonetic English transcription.
'Cica Obrenova Kolo' is it reduced to ASCII by missing off the accents.
Formation Line weaving about, arms out forwards & V-hold.
Dance Structure (A x 4 + B x 2 + A x 4 + C x 4) repeated throughout music.
Music Structure 4 counts/bar, 4 bar phrases. Distinctly different music for the 3 different parts.
Music Speed 160 counts/min (but feels twice as fast because there is there are two bounces per count).
Translation Uncle Obrenova's Dance
Choreographer Paja Milić.
Source Helen van Bochove in 1998 then many times since including from Bruce Barbour, Sally Fletcher & Paja Milić and in general dancing in evenings in The Netherlands. Checked original steps from 'Doe Dans Basics 2' &, on finding them different, confirmed current steps from a Dunav (Israeli group) video.

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught by Paja Milić.

This is a popular partyish dance. The thing which makes it rather exhausting is that one can keep up a bouncing shake in Part A, hopping in Part B & do Part C travelling at running speed.

The exact form of the bouncing in Part A has been controversial. I've come across it done several ways from none at all (a Sacred/Circle Dance styling which is dull) to a full double bounce on every step (which is exhausting but is how I originally wrote it down). Each way I tried leading it, I got complaints that it did not feel right to some dancers so I looked more carefully the next time I got an opportunity to see the choreographer do it (at the 2004 Eastbourne International Folkdance Festival) and that is the version written up below. It was only a single down & up bounce on each side & close step but the way the steps were staccato caused the tensed body to shake in a natural rebound during the pauses between the steps. Such shakes were at four times the stepping frequency but were just a result of the styling not a fast bounce that has to be consciously added in. I still got complaints though! The main complaint being that should only bounce up not down (it does feel that way but unless a down is sneaked in one cannot go up the next time, of course).

Apparently the sequence has been simplified since it was choreographed as the version in the (Dutch) 'Doe Dans Basics 2' 1992 booklet (a definitive resource of many international folk dances popular in The Netherlands) has the stamp of Part A in (what I call, the Doe Dans notes use 2 count per bar whereas I used 4) bar 2 counts 1-2 instead of counts 3-4 at the end and the change feet in Part B by a preparatory step before the first count of bar 1 instead of the last step on count 4& of bar 2. I can see why it evolved to the current version: the current version retains all the characteristic & liked parts and looks & feels virtually the same but the sequence is more natural & easier to follow suiting the dance's popularity in parties etc..

Style: Upper body firm & upright. Bouncing from the knees. Partyish not solemn.


Summary: None.

None - it launches straight into the dance at full speed.

Part A

Summary: Close V-hold, arms straight infront. (R side, L close) x 3. R turned stamp side, L close.

Start Facing perpendicular to line of dancers (i.e. facing centre if in a circle). Holding hands with arms out straight infront horizontally (therefore dancers are shoulder to shoulder close).
1 R to the side flat footedly dipping slightly by flexing the knees.
& Pause. (It is not an explicit pause, just that the preceding step is staccato.)
2 L close flat footedly rising up out of the dip by straightening the knees.
& Pause.
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& (R side, L close).
1-2& Repeat bar 1 counts 1-2& (R side, L close).
3 Repeat count 1 (R side) but with a stamp. The stamp is one with a transfer of weight, bent kneed, flat footed & a bit behind the person to one's R foot and with the R foot is directed to the R.
& Pause.
4& Repeat counts 2-2& (L close) whilst returning R foot to directed forwards by swivelling it.

Throughout this, the upper body shakes down & up tensely at a frequency of four times that from the main knee leg bouncing. This shake also comes from the knees but is more of a natural rebound from staccato steps than a consciously added bounce and, for viewers, is more noticeable in the shoulders than in the knees.

Some do the main bounce between the knee positions of straight & hyperextended rather than bent & straight but I find that uncomfortable and wonder if it is damaging.

Part B

Summary: Close V-hold, arms down. (R close pointing L low infront, R hop hooking L across infront), mirror. ((R close quick, L stamp quick), mirror) x 1.75, R close quick. Mirror all.

Start Facing perpendicular to line of dancers (i.e. centre if in a circle). Close W-hold.
1 Step close R whilst sliding/pointing the L foot slightly forwards to horizontal very slightly above the floor infront.
2 Lift L foot across R foot with R heel turned to L (this is traditionally should only be to mid shin height but is fun to ham up to something looking like an Irish dance!) whilst hopping once on the L foot.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 on the opposite feet (L close with R point, L hop with R hook). The L step is almost a small leap.
1 R close raising the L foot a little behind ready for the next stamp.
& L stamp close without weight.
2-2& Repeat counts 1-1& on opposite feet (L close, R stamp close without weight).
3-3& Repeat counts 1-1& (R close, L stamp close without weight).
4 L close.
& R close.
3-4 Repeat bars 1-2 on the opposite feet.

Part C

Summary: V-hold. Facing R. (R forwards swinging L leg out to side, hop), mirror. R Triple Step forwards with L across behind. L Triple Step forwards normal.

Start Facing the person to the R (i.e. acw if in a circle). Normal V-hold.
1-2 R step forwards & hop swinging L leg out to the side.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 on opposite feet (L step-hop swinging R to the side).
1&2 R L R triple step forwards crossing L foot close behind R foot in the middle of the three steps.
3&4 L R L triple step forwards (normal, no crossing).

This part can be done at running speed and cover a lot of distance. If leading the dance with fast travelling, remember to abruptly slow down travelling immediately afterwards to allow the rest to line to close up for Part A afterwards.