Folklore ensemble "Filip Dević" was founded in 1950. Since then more than 8,000 of our members have participated in preserving Croatian national heritage by bringing back to life old customs, songs and dances.
In our rich history we held some 2,500 concerts in Croatia and all around the world. There isn't a country in Europe which we didn't visit, and as for the rest of the world, we saw Turkey, Australia and New Zealand. The dearest performances to us are those for Croats living abroad, in this way we make it possible for them to feel the spirit of their homeland, if just for a while.
We took part in many International festivals of folklore with considerable success. In 1970, we came home with a golden medal for folk dancing from Middlesbrough, England where an International Festival was held. Later, in 1984. we won a Grand Prix from both the audience and experts in Poland.
During the war in Croatia we held over 100 humanitarian concerts given for those who needed it most: our children, refugees and war invalids.
Dancing section of the Folk company "Filip Devic" is divided into two parts: School for Folkdance and Folkdance Ensemble.
The first part, School for Folkdance, consists of children under the age of 14. Separated in a few age groups, they learn about our national customs and history while being taught to dance.
The second part is The Folkdance Ensemble. It is the active part of our folkdance section, which has a repertoire of 6 different dances from all parts of Croatia.
If you keep going through this page, you will see lovely photos of impressive Croatian national costumes, as well as more information about each of 6 above - mentioned dances.
ANCIENT DANCES OF THE TOWN OF SPLIT - choreographer: Branko Segovic
Mr. Segovic has managed to create a perfect combination using some beautiful details from several dances that were danced in the town of Split. This dance is renowned for it’s elegant performance and costumes that have identified Split for the past 1700 years. The male costumes actually share some stylistic details that are found in today’s premier designer labels, short “stand up” collars on intricately designed jackets can also be found on the fashion runways of Milan.
DANCE FROM THE TOWN OF VRLIKA -
choreographer: Branko Ljubic
A truly magnificent dance, and perhaps one of the most beautiful in Croatia, if not the World. Many gold medals won at different world competitions by a number of Croatian folk companies have proven this statement. What makes it so special is the silence in which it is danced. No music, just the steps of the dance leader and gold coins on female costumes give rhythm to the dancers. The main characteristics of this dance are highly difficult and strength consuming lifts and jumps. The choreographer Mr. Ljubic, who is himself from this part of Croatia, added extra difficulty to the Vrlika dance performed by "Filip Devic", which became the trademark of our ensemble. Even the coat of arms of our folk company is a detail from the Croatian national costume of Vrlika region.
Final dance from Croatian national opera
"ERO S ONOGA SVIJETA"
-choreographer: Oskar Harmos; -adapted for folklore by: Branko Ljubic
Originally derived from a Croatian ballet, this dance is one of the rare symbols of Croatian national identity allowed during the 45 years of Communistic rule. It has been interpreted in many ways and this folk version is but one. The most beautiful part of this dance is the solo act of a pair of dancers. Strength of the male dancer and the grace of his female partner, together with the motivating music of Jakov Gotovac, make for an unforgettable combination.
LINĐO - choreographer: Sulejman Muratovic
Yet another remarkable example of both Croatian and Dalmatian folklore. Lindjo is a lovely dance from the town of Dubrovnik and it’s surrounds. A little string instrument, lijerica, held on the player’s knee, is one of two things which makes it so special. The second is the Vikac, a solo dancer who screams out loud funny and amusing commands which are to be obeyed by the rest of the dancers. This dance has become the symbol of Dubrovnik and its Summer Festival. The image of Dubrovnik and this dance is presented to the world every year at the opening of the Summer festival.
DANCES FROM POSAVINA - choreographer: Branko Ljubic
Mr. Ljubic formed this choreography with the combination of a few dances from the area of the river Sava. Ducec, Sito and Drmes... are lively dances with plenty of singing during their performance, which is typical for north Croatian folk dances. The speed of the steps and the constant quick changes of choreography characterize this performance on stage. There are some very attractive parts in this dance, where the audience involvement and enjoyment become a very important part of the general impression of this dance's performance.
BUNJEVCI DANCES - choreographer: Jure Skare
Mr. Jure Skare is the art director of "Filip Devic" dancing ensemble. After his personal long dancing experience, assisting recognized Croatian folk experts, and attending a number of folklore seminars, he committed his talents to creating this choreography. Bunjevci are Croats, living in the territory of today's Yugoslavia. More precisely, in Vojvodina, Serbia's north region. Even though they are not living the happiest of their times right now in constant fear of the Serbian regime, this dance brings back the better times. Apart from the merry rhythm and lively performance, this dance is characterized by a part of the boot on the male costume called zvecke. During the performance they make a certain sound which gives a very specific personality to this dance. Also, the number of ladies is twice the number of men - each man dances with two partners.
The Vocal group that performs old Dalmatian folk songs is called the KLAPA. Originally, klapa consisted only of men singing without instrumental accompaniment. As time went by, ladies tried out, and throughout the years attained an equally impressive level. Still, it is traditional and important to emphasize the difference: men klapa - women klapa, except for "Filip Devic", who have always strived to give something unique to its audience. So, during the 70’s we formed, the first ever, Mixed vocal group to perform the same Dalmatian songs, with yet another difference: they use music in the background. See some photos of our klapas and read some information about each of them.
MEN SINGING CHORUS (KLAPA) -
art director: maestro Jaksa Gilic
KLAPA is a uniquely Croatian form of musical expression of love that originated in the Dalmatian region centuries ago. Groups of male singers would be employed by young men to serenade eligible young women, with the hope of gaining their affections through the rendition of love songs. While the courtship aspect of klapa singing has all but disappeared in modern times, the vocal traditions are very much alive today.
WOMEN SINGING CHORUS (KLAPA)
-art director: maestro Dusko Tambaca
MIXED VOCAL GROUP -
art director: maestro Remi Kazinoti
The Mixed Vocal Group "Filip Devic" was founded on May 29, 1978 in an interesting, almost spontaneous way. Whilst performing around the world, members of both the Men's and Women's klapas, together with the boys and girls from the Dancing Ensemble, would get together and sing during moments of relaxation or for their own entertainment. Anyone listening was impressed and encouraged the mixed group to perform together so, with some arranging of their songs and voices the first ever Mixed Vocal Group (MVG) was formed.
The MVG cherish the repertoire of old Dalmatian folk songs that are arranged in this special way. Women’s voices are used where male tenors once dominated and combined with the instrumental accompaniment give this group it’s uniqueness. Apart from the old Dalmatian folk songs, our MVG rearranges some successful popular songs, originating mainly from the pop festivals in Split, which has a tradition of being the "keeper of Dalmatian song tradition". Popular songs that the MVG performs are usually so well known to the public that they can almost be called "folk" songs. MVG "Filip Devic" has over one hundred songs in their official repertoire but, during the less formal parties or during their relaxation time, you will probably hear twice as many songs from them.
In the 22 years of its existence, MVG has recorded two solo albums and another album with two other klapas.
During their tours, the MVG has traveled throughout all of Europe, and they have even reached Australia and New Zealand. Their second visit to Australia in 1981was one that they always remember with pride and joy because they sailed with the tourist boat "Dalmacija" from Venice (Italy) to Perth (Australia) through Egypt, Gibutty, Ceylon, Indonesia, Singapore, ... and as they alone say: "We have planted so many Croatian and Dalmatian song at these far away places, that they still remember us and are still in contact with us!".
Our Mixed Vocal Group is regular participant of all celebrations and festivals in the city of Split, and is a frequent guest for the local radio and national TV shows.
The first art director of the MVG was maestro Rajimir Kraljevic, and after his contribution came Josko Banov, Vinko Lesic and Vilibald Pecenik. Since 1995, the MVG has been lead by maestro Remi Kazinoti. This association is still very successful.
The instrumental section are our "People in the shadow’s". Although usually in the background, without them nothing would work. Their presence on stage is essential for us, since all of the "Filip Devic" performances are LIVE ! They consist of two groups. One is the School for guitar and mandolin, and the other is The Orchestra.
In the School for guitar and mandolin children are taught the basics of playing the previously mentioned instruments. Afterwards, they are slowly included into the work of our orchestra. This is all done under the careful supervision of their maestro, Mr. Boris Plejic.
The Orchestra, on the other hand, is made of musicians who perform with us. Their maestro is Mr. Remi Kazinoti, who is also maestro for the Mixed Vocal Group, which isn't all that odd, since they are inseparable. There are only 4 dances for which the Dancing Ensemble require their support, but there are hundreds of songs where their support is needed by the Mixed Vocal Group. All this may sound confusing, but on stage it looks impressive, and as far as we are concerned, that is all that matters.
Source: Filip Dević Folklore Ensemble