About Polish Dance Culture
Many countries around the world have one national dance, others may not even have that. Poland, a culture rich in musical tradition has five national dances... And no, the Polka is not one of them.
Poland’s national dances are the Krakowiak, the Mazur, the Kujawiak, the Oberek and the Polonez. They all originated in the Polish countryside.
1) The Krakowiak’s origin is from Krakow and the Malopolska region. It dates back into the 16th century. The Krakowiak dance has a syncopated rhythm.
2) Although it got its name from Mazovia (the region around Warsaw), Mazur actually originated from Kujawy. It also dates back into the 16th century where Chopin used its rhythm to create many of his masterpieces. Mazur is a swift moving elegant dance.
3) Much like Mazur, the Kujawiak has its origins from the Kujawy region. It is a simple slow and romantic dance that dates back into the 19th century.
4) The Oberek came from the Mazowsze region of Poland. Its name comes from the Polish word for spinning, Obracać. It is a fast and lively dance.
5) The Polonez evolved from a dance called the Chodzony (or Walking Dance) in the 15th century and entered the dance repertoire of the royals and the nobles. It is a slow dance consisting of a promenade in couples.