As you walk the streets of the Dubrovnik Old Town during the summer, you might hear some odd music and “quick” steps that follow the rhythm. Once you approach the dancing group to see what is happening, you’ll be instantly stunned by all the colours of the traditional clothes, young people bursting with energy and a lot of smiles, singing and enthusiasm.
Linđo owns its name to a legendary dance leader, Nikola Lale from from Župa Dubrovačka who was known as Linđo. We can thank to his descendants for having continued the tradition and having saved this popular dance of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik region.
The fact that his great-great-grandson Mario still plays the famous “lijerica”, a pear-shaped, three-stringed instrument, in Linđo, speaks volumes about the importance of this dance for his family and for the identity of the region. This instrument that probably evolved from the bowed instrument of the Byzantine Empire and spread along the Adriatic Coast in the 19th century. It is often used to accompany the Linđo dancers.
How to dance Linđo?
The dance master is seated next to the dancing group while holding the lijerica on his left knee. With his right foot, he is stamping in order to dictate the rhythm to the dancers. He often says something funny while he is giving the commands to the dancers: the audience that views the show is supposed to understand the double meaning of his sexual innuendo pick up lines. The dancers move in circles around the dance masters and they switch partners following the commands by the dance master who openly encourage them to do some dance improvisations.
In order to save this energetic dance and encourage younger citizens in Dubrovnik to continue the tradition, the Folklore Ensemble Linđo was founded in 1964. It all started with an idea by Sulejman Muratović and it quickly gained a reputation in Dubrovnik because of the outstanding will and enthusiasm of Muratović, who was the Artistic director of Linđo until 2010.
Today, Linđo has become a brand and a promoter of the Croatian national dances and songs both in Croatia and abroad.