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Kujawiak Dance Workbook
Graj, Panu, Graj!
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Kujawiak Dance Workbook
Courtesy of R. Cwieka
The following is an exerpt from R. Cwieka's
Kujawiak Dance Workbook

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During the latter half of the 18th century several Polish Dances came either to be conscious symbols of Polish Nationalism and or came to represent a class-community.
The Taniec Polski and Mazur represent Poland's conscious National-Political class; the Szlachta. The Krakowiak, Kujawiak and Obertas (Oberek) came to represent Poland's peasant class. All of these five dances by 1847 were called Polish National Dances, i.e., they were thought of as representative of Poland's Cultural Identity.
The Krakowiak became a National symbol because of its connection with the Insurrection of 1794 Exactly how the Kujawiak and Obertas came to be National Dances cannot be determined. There are no records to establish any particular arguments one way or the other.
One can only speculate(but not in a completely groundless way). By the 18th century Warszawa had been the Polish capitol for over 200 years. Warszawa is located in the central plain of Poland. What happened around Warszawa would come to the notice of its populace.
As we have pointed out the Kujawiak, Mazurek and Obertas are very closely related musically. In their
peasant form the Mazurek and the Oberek are almost identical. The Mazur, done extensively by Poland's upper class, is a developed form of the Oberek, namely the "Obertas." The term "Mazur" is very often used by peasants themselves when they actually dance the Obertas.
Early in the 19th century Poland began to experience the Romantic era. Writers, journalists, hobbists and amateur ethnographers who lived in Warszawa would go to the countryside around Warszawa itself and describe what they saw...continued


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