Silent Kolo

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

Alternative Names 'Silent Kolo' is an English semi-translation by Tvrtko.
'Mute Kolo' is an alternative English semi-translation by Tvrtko.
Formation Open circle with leader at the left hand end for Part A. Closed circle for Part B. Basketweave hold with R arm over & middle fingers hold.
Dance Structure A1 x many (accelerating). B x many. A2 x many (decelerating).
Music Structure No music.
Music Speed No music. Dance is at about 60 counts/min to 120 counts/min.
Source Tvrtko Zebec in his Croatian folk dance course for SIFD in London, UK, 2008/3/8.

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 Tvrtko Zebec.

A simple traditional dance done with neither musical accompaniment nor singing by the dancers.

The dance name is generic so there are many other dances of the same name in circulation. The two basic steps of this one are simpler (just back & forth and Grapevine!) than some I've seen performed live or found on the WWW. In particular several Circle Dancers know 'Vrličko Kolo' done to aversion of the a cappella 'Mesmo Rekle' with the singing dropping out at one point as 'Silent Kolo'. So maybe 'Mute Kolo' is better used as its name in the UK. It is a pity I did not ask what it was in Bulgarian in the class but I stupidly relied on the CD inlay which, not having music, it of course was not on.

Besides obviously being a useful reserve should the music system fail or the band not turn up, it is also surprisingly atmospheric with (at least for me) a sort of primitive earthy creepy feeling.

Although the dance is simple, the leader does have the possibly difficult task of keeping the rhythm, smoothly changing the tempo and changing the parts (getting everyone to change tidily & simultaneously from Part B to Part A2 without a bit of pile-up is a bit tricky!). Try to have experienced folk dancers not just for the leader but for the second person & the two on the other end of the line as all four will be involved in changing the hold to close the circle as it is in basketweave hold. A floor on which footsteps are noisy is helpful in saving strain on the legs from having to make heavy loud steps.

The whole dance took about 2 min when it was taught with the time spent on Part B feeling less than on each of Parts A1 & A2 (although the number of repeats might have been more similar as Part B is faster) but, of course, could be changed to any length by the leader.

Style: Heavy & solid feel. Slightly bent knees & slight forward lean of torso. Heavy flat footed steps.


Summary: Not applicable.

No music so no introduction matching to worry about!

Part A1

Summary: R across infront heavy, bounce, L side behind heavy, bounce. Accelerating.

Start Facing centre of the circle. Weight on L foot. Open circle.
1 R across infront. Done heavily to make a distinctly audible footfall (like a dull stamp).
& Small bounce up & down (feels like rebound/aftershock from the previous step) on R foot. The down is on the beat.
2 L to the side behind. Done as audibly as in count 1.
& Small bounce (as in count 1&) on L foot.

Repeats of this start at about 60 counts/min (so 1 step per second) and slowly rise to about 120 counts/min (which feels relatively fast but still is not very fast). When the end of the repeats is approaching, the leader joins hands with the other end to form a closed circle.

It feels natural exaggerate the bounces into heel lifts followed by audible heel drops but (although I might be wrong) I don't remember this being done in the teaching.

Part B

Summary: R across infront stamp, L side, R across behind, L side.

Start Facing centre of the circle. Weight on L foot. Closed circle.
Women Continue doing the same as Part A1 (but constant speed).
1 R across infront with a normal stamp (less sinking into it than in Part A1 count 1, because there is not time before the next step, so it is less muffled & sounds sharper).
& L to the side.
2 R across behind. This is not done heavily or stamped so only count 1 is audibly emphasised.
& L to the side. (This bar comprises a Grapevine with a stamp in the first step.)

Repeats of this maintain constant speed.

Part A2

Summary: As Part A1 but decelerating.

At the start of this, the leader drops hold with person on their L to revert to open circle.

Repeats of this start at about 120 counts/min and slowly fall back to about 60 counts/min by the end of the dance.