With the cry into the night air, the first tunes from the Lijerica, the twist and twirl of the colourful dancers, this is Lindjo.
One of the absolute points on your “must do” list whilst in Dubrovnik is to attend a performance by the folklore ensemble Lindjo. With over fifty years of tradition the Lindjo ensemble is one of the columns of culture on which Dubrovnik is founded.
An explosion of song and dance and the Lindjo begins. The energy is overflowing, the passion incredible and the moves enthralling. The Lijerica plucks away its monotonous tone, the dance leader cries instructions to the circle of dancers, the harmony is outstanding.
Formed in 1965 the Lindjo dance ensemble performs traditional songs and dances from the Dubrovnik region. It is like watching history come to life. Dances passed down from generations, costumes created over hundreds of years and lyrics aimed to shock and amuse. History and traditions respected in a single dance.
The audience around me fall into silence, a silent awe, as the young dancers perform…”they are really unbelievable and so nice to see so many young people dancing,” I hear the English couple next to me.
Through the summer months the Lindjo dancers are kept very busy. Apart from performing in the Dubrovnik Summer Festival they also dance three times a week in the Lazaretto complex. They also take this little piece of Dubrovnik on tour all over the world, great ambassadors for the city. They are accompanied by the traditional instrument, the Lijerica, a pear-shaped, three-stringed instrument which is played with a bow. It might look easy to get a tune from, but believe me it isn’t, far from it.
“And I can, thank God, raise my leg high in the air,” echoes out in the Dubrovnik evening sky, the dance leader has a firm grip on his troupe, his booming lyrics continue unabated.
In times when the authenticity of many world destinations is under question the Lindjo performers are without doubt as authentic as the City Walls themselves. To understand the society, the culture and the very spirit of Dubrovnik, the city that you have chosen to holiday in an evening with the Lindjo Folklore Ensemble is an evening that will create memories for a lifetime. This is the soul, the heartbeat of the city in a dance.
The crescendo of applause as the whole ensemble takes a bow is deafening, cries of “bravo” ring around, once again Lindjo has found a new group of fans.