If you’ve heard that Croatia has a thing for sword dancing then you would be pleasantly entertained with the Moreška. The performance has everything going on including cool costumes, great music and the thrill of swords. Each of the Moreška dances tell a story and is very dramatic.
The Moreška originated in the 16th century as a way to tell stories in an entertaining drama. The dance started in Spain and is connected to the conflict between Christian and Moors. There are many linkages to the dance and the struggles against the Ottoman Empire. It covers the conflict between the Red King and Black King and weaves in a love story as well.
The story centers on the Red King attempting to regain his fiancee after she was abducted by the Black King. The dance is done in 7 circles with 7 different dances. Spoiler alert: the Black king loses and the Red King’s fiancee is reunited with her love.
You can catch one of these popular sword dances during the summer months at “Ljetno Kino” in the Old Town of Korčula and on Saint Theodore’s Day which is July 29th. The sword dance is accompanied by a brass band and features 20th century songs. Some Moreška events also feature choirs that are unaccompanied by instruments.
The Moreška is a must see if you are travelaing through Croatia and want to experience some of the history and entertainment the country has to offer. Be sure to get tickets closer to the front of the stage so you are able to see the intricate dance work.