General Description of Work: Sevdah is a Des Moines Bosnian folk dance group that dances a variety of traditional dances. Dancers range in age from 7 to 15. They have performed at a variety of events in Des Moines for several years and were featured at the 15th Anniversary of Bosnian settlement in Iowa and at the 2004 Midwest Folk Fest in Waterloo.
Music and dance are part and parcel of Bosnian social life. As in many Eastern bloc and European countries, folk music and dance are taught to children in school; young adults are encouraged to study folk dance and music at university. Folk festivals and competitions between performing arts groups were a major part of Bosnian life, and amateur groups called Cultural Art Societies were common throughout the republic. Required to perform the dance, music, and song of Bosnia, Croatian, and Serbia, they were often not permitted to specialize in the traditions of only one group.
Bio: Group leader Aldijana Radoncic of Des Moines, was born in Sarejevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The recipient of a 2003 Iowa Arts Council Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant for Master Artists, Aldijana was a professional folkloric dancer in her former homeland. Trained in modern dance and music as well, she performed at international folkloric festivals throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Like many other Bosnian refugees, the families of the Sevdah dancers fled the war in Bosnia and were resettled in Des Moines after time in European refugee camps. The name of the group is from the traditional Bosnian music form "Sevdah". Although it is reliably known that the Sevdah originated after the Turks came to medieval Bosnia, nobody has been able to determine exactly when this was. Sevdah performers were requested to feel the music they performed, in order to get listeners genuinely acquainted with the message each song was meant to convey. When the Sevdah was first introduced, this music was performed by a singer with a popular and simple instrument (saz) only, so that the interpretation was always loose with and open to number of improvisations. This loose and improvised style remains an important characteristic in later forms of the Sevdah when other instruments like accordion, violin or guitar started to be used. Over time, the Sevdah changed from being performed before small audiences in privileged households to become a popular musical expression equally liked by all layers of society. Sevdah remains a musical expression full of emotion, calling for old times when people lived easier and loved more.
Services Offered 1: Dance performances
Regions: All Regions
Months available: : All months but weekends only during school year except in Des Moines.
Performance fees, mileage charges, related to arts services: : contact for fees
Accessibility accommodations, space requirements, equipment and all other needs
that should be met by sponsors: : CD player, microphone. Need a room to change costumes with an access to bathrooms, electrical outlets. We prefer hard surface or stages for dancing and can perform both inside or outside.