Moreška is pronounced 'Moreshka'. It means 'Moorish'. The word is derived from the Spanish WORD 'Morisco' or the Italian 'Moresco'. It is not known whether the dance came to the island from Spain or from Italy when Dalmatia was part of the Venetian Republic.
We do know for certain that it is one of the oldest traditional European dances still performed, and that records exist of it being danced in Lerida in 1156 in a form portraying a Christian and National victory over the Moors and their expulsion from Aragon.
The Moreska, a knightly ritual dance, has been performed in Korčula for four hundred years. It symbolized the struggle between the good and evil. It tells a story of battle between white (dressed in red) and black warriors. White warriors try to save a girl called Bula. Bula is white king’s bride and she was abducted by black king Moro. In the end white warriors win and save the girl.
It is traditionally performed on July 27, and once a week during a summer season (check their programme). As well as the “Moreška” there is another war dance called “KUMPANIJA” performed in Vela Luka, Pupnat, Čara, Blato and Smokvica. This is a dance with swords, accompanied by the music of bagpipes and drum rhythm.
When on Korčula do not miss this attractive performance!