"THE MORESKA DANCE" Korcula Things to Do Tip by mvtouring

Korcula Things to Do: 102 reviews and 180 photos

  Dance of the knights
by mvtouring

Today, Korcula is the only island where it is still danced with real swords in its original War-Dance form and where it has enjoyed a proud and almost unbroken tradition for over four centuries, though the text, music and pattern of the dance have been slightly altered and shortened (the contest used to last for two hours!) over the years.

Moreska is pronounced 'Moreska'. It means 'Moorish'. The word is derived from the Spanish adjective 'Morisco' or the Italian 'Moresco'. It is a matter of conjecture whether the dance came to the Adriatic directly from Spain through roving Spanish sailors, or from Sicily or Italy when Dalmatia formed part of the Venetian Republic whether it was originally a Moorish dance or a Spanish one, inspired by the struggle of Spanish Christians against the Moors is also debatable though the latter seems the most likely. We do know for certain that it is one of the oldest traditional European dances still performed, and that records exist of it being danced in Lerida in 1156 in a form portraying a Christian and National victory over the Moors and their expulsion from Aragon.

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  • Updated Apr 18, 2004
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