Rock Moreška: Contemporary Take on Korčula’s Tradition

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How to unite tradition and the contemporary in a single enchanting event? You invite a couple of skilled musicians to inject a well-known local manifestation with some modern tunes.

The sword-dance Moreška that’s been performed on Korčula for 400 years is emblematic of the island and represents one of the longest-running traditions on the Adriatic. Moreška originates from Spain and has first been recorded on Korčula in the 17th century, the Dalmatian island being the only remaining place where the dance is still performed today.

Previously performed accompanied only by a drum beat, Moreška got its own musical background in the 20th century when the Croatian composer Krsto Odak composed a piece for the brass band in 1937, having the custom turn into a proper theatrical spectacle. As we’re almost two decades into another century, it seems fitting to explore what Moreška would look and sound like if performed to a contemporary music piece, and that’s where the Rolin Humes come in.



The pop-rock-blues quartet launched a project called Live Grow Flourish (Živi rasti cvjetaj) in 2016, aiming to revive abandoned industrial facilities through collaboration with various traditional ensembles. They’re headed for Korčula next, to stage the first version of ‘Rock’ Moreška to ever be seen by the audience. On July 8, the former thermal power station Žuva near the ferry port Dominče on Korčula will turn into a venue for a special take on the traditional dance.

The joint performance of the Rolin Humes and the Moreška Korčula Cultural Art Society is supported by the Town of Korčula, and the entrance to the event will be free of charge.

To learn more about the history of this fascinating tradition, take a look at this article about Moreška, and enjoy a classical performance in the video below:


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