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 »  Home  »  Culture And Arts  »  Tanac dances from the island of Krk by Tvrtko Zebec, Ph.D.
Tanac dances from the island of Krk by Tvrtko Zebec, Ph.D.
By Prof.Dr. Darko Zubrinic | Published  06/14/2007 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
Tvrtko Zebec, Ph.D., wrote an extensive monograph on 397 pp

Krčki tanci

Tanac dances from the island of Krk


Tvrtko Zebec






Puntari from Punat, island of Krk

 

Elsie Dunin
Professor Emerita (Dance Ethnology)
Department of World Arts and Cultures
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1608

Critical review of book

Krčki tanci

[Tanac dances on the island of Krk]

by Tvrtko Zebec 

           In Croatia I predict that this book will become a classic case study of dances and dancing as a human movement experience within their ethno-cultural and religious historical contexts.  It is a superb study that reveals the importance of a lesser-known expressive behavior on a northern Adriatic island that is typically lauded for its touristic tributes rather than for its dance and music expressions, which are truly unique in Croatia. 

            This evaluation focuses on the English-language section to review whether or not the writing and organization is comprehensive enough for a non-Croatian reader to gain a sense of the study's depth that is evident in the Croatian text.  There are 80 pages of the English-language section, while the book has a total of 397 pages including the bibliography with over 200 listings, two indexes (Croatian and English), two maps,  41 black-white and 24 color illustrations, spanning a 100-year time period. 

The Croatian part of the book is organized into 15 chapters, most with several sub-headings.  Although the English-language section translates some chapters with their sub-headings almost in their entirety, others about language dialect are only summarized.  The introductory preview of dancing on Krk island is followed by a discussion of the methodology.  The author emphasizes that this study focuses upon the dancers and musicians, rather than focusing upon the dance as an independent product, and in this chapter the author cites the methodologies current in dance ethnology studies outside of Croatia.  He gives the reader an orientation to the dance contexts before presenting the unique history of the island in relation to these events.  He continues to weave the historical background information into the understanding of the current events that he observed and documented.  Particularly relevant is the discussion and background of the island's Glagolithic religious organization and the involvement of priests in dance events, either as principal participants or as knowledgeable supporters; he explains the persistence of the priests and their involvement in spite of the bans on dancing that were imposed from the outside.  I do not think this symbiotic relationship has continued anywhere else in Croatia.  Zebec further describes the social hierarchy in the dancing order, and the significance of the sopele musicians to the dancers.  He then goes on to discuss the population, the early migrations that appear to differentiate today's style differences of events, and importantly the separation of the town from village events.  He goes on to more specialized information during a year's cycle:  the winter koleda and carnival, wedding events, noting the performances as rituals, and contemporary events such as the Krk Festival and its importance to the present lifestyle and identity of self and community through the performance of the Tanac for audiences and tourists.  Finally the dancing itself is described in detail but in readable word text.  Here there is structural analysis of the dances comparatively related to their social and geographic contexts.

Overall, the organization of the book goes from a general discussion, weaves the history, cultural background, unique religious contribution, to the events, and finally the dances themselves.  The whole of the study could not have been done by only interviews, but by sensitive, unobtrusive observations and participation into the events, and uncovering patterns of history that overlap with the current occurrences of the dancing. 

            This book will not only be a valuable resource for the island of Krk, but is a model for dance ethnology studies in other dance culture areas of Croatia.  Non-dance persons in Croatia and elsewhere will be exposed to another level of understanding of dancing in a communitymoving beyond the shallow idea of "folklor" performance.  The study views the dancing complex as a cultural whole, rather than listing and describing dance products themselves.  The book offers an overview of the importance of dancing with its sopele music accompaniment within lives of a people, continuing into the 21st century. 

Since the study uses late 20th and early 21st century visual technology for documentation, I recommend to the author and to the publisher to think about including a CD that accompanies the book with selected illustrations of the dancing in its various contexts, as well as photographs (past and present).  In addition, I suggest a consideration of short dance movement examples to be posted on the World Wide Web, referencing this book that has fuller information about the dancing in their contexts.  This model links the web to a print copy offering an in-depth understanding of the dancing, rather than simply showing the "dance product" with shallow explanations of the dancing. 

If I were still actively teaching at UCLA, I would recommend the English version of this work as necessary reading to graduate students in dance ethnology studies.  Dr. Zebec has managed to integrate the knowledge of dances and their dancing with a sensitive, knowledgeable, and yet objective view of a distinctive ethnographic geographic area, Krk Island.  Although pioneering ethnochoreology studies within Croatia's borders have offered valuable data (such as Ivan Ivancan's study of Kumpanija on the island of Korcula, 1967), to date no other in depth and profound studies have been published.  The strength of Zebec's work is based on first-hand observations and participation of dancing events over a year's cycle of both island calendar events and personal family events.  He notes particular influence of the accompanying musicians to these events, and notes the unique influence of the Glagolithic religious organization on the island.  He conducted interviews and integrated the latest theoretical thinking and methodologies of dance movement studies.  Zebec shows with this work that he has become the leading dance ethnologist in Croatia, and hopefully he will be encouraged to direct such studies in other areas of Croatia. 

            In conclusion, this monograph Krčki tanci [Tanac dances on the island of Krk], by author Tvrtko Zebec is an excellent study not only for the island of Krk, but also as a model of documentation of dancing events in relation to their contemporary social contexts.






Costumes from the village of Gabonjin, island of Krk



Vrbensko kolo from the town of Vrbnik, island of Krk


TVRTKO ZEBEC, DOKTOR ETNOLOGIJE KI JE NAPISAL KNJIGU O TANCIMA S OTOKA KRKA

Tanac kot metafora življenja bodula
Piše Davor ŽIC

Čudo je kad se va metropole najde neki ki razume domaću besedu i oteje je povedat. Ako još dela kot etnolog i proučava Boduliju, ondat imamo i temu o koj se more proćakulat. Tvrtko Zebec je doktor etnologije, rojeni kajkavac ki je napisal knjigu o tancima s otoka Krka. Kad je 1993. prišal va Punat na Mesopust, zaljubil se je va taj kraj, običaje i besedu... I još ga ni pasalo...
    Knjiga ku je storil zove se "Krčki tanci", a za nju poveda da je tek početak... U planu je još jedna knjiga, cd zi snimkama tanci i još čudo drugeh stvari.


    Ča je bil cilj ove vaše knjige, zač ste je napisali?

     Cilj je bil pokazat na ki način su boduli slični, a kako se razlikuju mej sobun. To je neš ča se odlično more vidit kroz tanac  Šotovento, odnosno zapadni
del otoka, razlikuje se od drugeh po temperamente i va načinu izvedbe. Tako je u tancu, ma i u mnogin drugin oblicima života. Ipak, ima čudo tega zajedničkega ča bodule čini bodulima, ili ižulanima, i razlikuje ih od ostalih, izvan otoka. Tanac se more gledat i kot nekakova metafora življenja bodula. Drugo je da se vidi kako je sve to zapravo složeno  kako razlika va leta odredi ki će kad tancat, ki dan, i ki je prvi tancur, ki drugi tancur, ki vodi... I koliko su sopci bitni va živote, i Punta, ali i celog otoka.
   

Melodiozna čakavština


Kako je bilo nekemu ki ne pozna dijalekt i kulturu snać se mej bodulima?

     U početke jako teško aš san slabo razumel. Kot kajkavcu, čakavski mi je jako stran, ma i primamljiv i jako ga volin. Jako je melodiozan. Koliko god sam čovek z vanka, moren reć da sada boje razumen bodule, ali va početke ni bilo lako. Rabilo mi je dosta vremena. Ali, imel san sriću da saki put kad bin pokucal na vrata, zibral bin pravu adresu i jude koji su srdačni, topli, i spravni na razgovor.

    Evo jedno pitanje zi uvoda vaše knjige. Ča tanac znači za bodule?

     Mislin da za bodule tanac znači sve. To sad morda patetično zvuči, ma svi ga zapravo znaju tancat, i tancaju ga vavek kad se neš bitno dogaja. Da im je tanac jako važan, vidi se i po ten ča su neke fameje zadržale i ime, il magari nadimak  Sopčići, Tanculići, Tancalići... Znači da tancuri i sopci imaju bitno mesto u društve. Tanac je na boduliji još vavek jako živ. I mislim da će ostat živ dok god je boduli, da neće posustat. To je prisutno duboko u njihovim životima i njihovoj svijesti.

    Očito je da je tanac važan, ne samo za kulturu. Kakova je veza tanca i celoga folklora i turizma? Je folklor postal bitan i za privuć furešte?

 Pa je. Zapravo, od vavek je i bil. Krčki festival je najstariji festival kot nas. Storen je 1935. kako bi se turistima pokazali krčki tanci. Ma ja se pitan, i u samoj knjige, koliko je taj festival za turiste, a koliko je važan samin bodulima. Na festival uglavnom ne pridu grupe zi drugih delova Hrvatske, a boduli vavek nastupaju sami. Izvode se samo krčki tanci, i mislim da je njin bitno da se moru pokazat, pokažu sami sebe i jedni drugima kako su dobri u tancu i kako su sve boji kroz leta. Tanci jesu turistički resurs, aš ih se tanca u vreme sezone i pokazuje turistima, iako kad turisti pridu na sam festival, habaju deset minuti, al kad čuju da sopele uporno drže svoj ton, to im brzo dosadi. Ma, verujen, ipak, da im to ostane negde duboko u podsvijesti.

    Ot početka devedesetih nadaje, dogaja se da va folklore se više mladi zimaju stvar va svoje ruki. Kako im gre?

     Mislin da je mladima puno teže aš je bil jedan prekid za vreme socijalizma. Ako bi bile neke fešte ke su bile vezane uz crikvu, onda se na to ni gledalo blagonaklono. Mladima je danaska teže, jer nisu toliko često u dodiru zi sopelama i tancima, više se vade kroz folklorne skupine i društva. Na otoku tanac se još vavek dobro drži aš se potiče i improvizacija i svest da saki more malo dodat u taj korak i tanac napravit posebnim i drugačjim. Za razliku od društava na kontinente za ke su krčki tanci neš skroz neuhvatljivo. Al tako mora bit. Tanac je vavek bil vezan uz otok, stare i razvijaju se zajedno... Iako se sam tanac nikad ne menja, menjaju se samo judi.

Novi list, 29. ožujka 2007.

[article sent to us by Dr Zebec]






Cover pages of the book

[from an e-mail of Dr Zebec, in answer to my remark about  suitability of "laundry" appearing on the title page of the book]

...Zahvaljujem i na dobronamjernoj primjedbi. Malo me nasmijala jer niste prvi koji je prvo pomislio na "gaće koje se suše na štriku" (Vi ste to puno finije izrekli). Ne radi se o krpicama ni trapericama nego o "facolima", svilenim rupcima koje naši dragi Boduli (možda čak i neki s drugih otoka, ali ovdje poglavito mislim na Ižulane-Krčane), imaju običaj objesiti preko place u svakom kaštelu ili selu kad je neka "vela fešta", kako oni kažu "očito veselje". Autor fotografije je dragi prijatelj Damir Kremenić, a nadam se da će Vam fotografije koje Vam šaljem u prilogu vjernije dočarati kontekst izvedbe kolijanskoga tonca u Gabonjinu koji smo pratili i snimili 2004.

Inače se na sličan način facoli vjese i preko place u Omišlju kad je Stomorina - na Veliku Gospu (kad se ne tanca) i dan poslije na Rokovu (kad slijedi pravi tenec i verec). Upravo su facoli za mene simbol (a to sam naučio od Krčana) veze s Bogom - oni su u običaju Stomorine "anjeli ki vode Gospu u ajer" - u nebo - dakle, neposredna su veza dvaju svjetova. Ovako na vjetru kako vijore na plavoj nebeskoj pozadini sa sivim oblacima ispod bili su mi fantastična inspiracija za plesnu temu - jer upravo kao ples, vijore i titraju, mašu nam između ili kao posrednici dvaju svjetova uključujući i ove naše ljudske udaljenosti - mislim na mnoge Krčane koji su iselili u (ponajviše) New York, pa se, za moj pojam, simbolika nije mogla bolje složiti. Sve što je izrečeno u knjizi može se upravo putem facola rastumačiti. ...


It is interesting that Mr Damir Kremenić, mentioned above, uses Croatian Glagolitic script for his official signatures, and also on his identity card. I know another person using Croatian Glagolitic script in the same way: Mr Eugen Divjak, a young student of Medicine at the University of Zagreb.

The author of these lines is a honorary member of The Cultural Society of St Peter (Kulturno društvo sv. Petra) from the village of Gabonjin on the island of Krk. Also, Mr. Svetko Ušalj from that village is a honorary member of The Society of Lovers of the Glagolitic Script in Zagreb (Društvo prijatelja glagoljice).

See the PDF attached below, containing a few pages from the book.


Formated for CROWN by
prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
Distributed by www.Croatia.org . This message is intended for Croatian Associations/Institutions and their Friends in Croatia and in the World. The opinions/articles expressed on this list do not reflect personal opinions of the moderator. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please delete or destroy all copies of this communication and please, let us know!


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