Krakowiak the old Polish dance

Krakow. City whose name comes to mind the famous sausage. But it is not only a famous sausage Krakow at the time it was the capital of Poland until the moment when it became Warsaw. A curious fact: in Poland, unlike Russia, has had 3 different capitals – Gniezno (today it is the historical capital, the cradle of the Polish nation and the Polish people), Krakow (first official) and the current Warsaw. As stated in one sentence: “by the dance of the people you will know their soul, their character.” Krakow gave the world not only the sausage, but also became home to the oldest Polish folk dance – Krakowiak. It is a sin not to share information with lessons in music and literature!

History of Krakowiak started at the beginning of the XIV century. In the old days Krakowiak was danced only by men, and later – a man in a couple with a woman. In the XIX century.

Krakowiak acquired the status of ballroom dance. Later Cracovienne firmly entered into the everyday life of the peasant population. Dance had a solemn character, but over time has become more diverse in their structure. In total Poland has given the world of dance 5: Krakowiak, mazurka, polonaise, and kujawiak oberek, 3 of which are for the ballroom.


It is important that the name of each is easy to guess where they came from (from any city). In the region Kuyavia (Kujawy), in the land of the north-west of Poland a Kujawiak was called “sleeping” dance, lyrical dance, meditation, usually executable in a minor key, followed by its sequel – oberek, originated there. Nowadays, this dance trend is increasing. Obereks little mobility and contains movement with turns around itself (hence the name), and these tend to be 2 dance the mazurka. The name “Mazurka” comes from the region of Mazovia (Mazury, or how else it is called). In the literature you can find the interpretation of “Mazowiecki folk dance”, which in principle is the same.Interestingly, the national anthem of Poland, referred to as the “March of Dombrowski,” the original name of which Mazurek Dąbrowskiego.


At first, the dance was performed exclusively by men. The most common scenario is the dance – one artist depicts a knight and a seond one a squire. However, over time, women became a part of Krakowiak and dances in pair with men. Girl dancing Krakowiak is done by flowing movements performed, and the man in front, makes a sharp movements. In the 14th century Krakowiak dance as a dance wasa parody of the duo of knights and squires. Therefore Krakowiak was initially a purely male dance with sharp, sudden movements, full of energetic hops, jumps.

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