Lucnica, the Slovak National Folklore Ballet from Bratislava, has been described by a journalist at French newspaper La Marseillaise as “The Rolling Stones of folklore.” Perhaps what the writer meant is that they aren’t likely to gather any moss.
One of the thrills of watching the troupe, which performs traditional Slovakian dance, is the speed with which its members execute their thigh- and boot-slaps as well as their spins and jumps.
One of the highlights of the routine is a “hat dance,” in which several male members of the troupe stand in circles and other formations swapping hats at dizzying speed. The routine climaxes when one of the female dancers, wearing a Little Bo Peep-style dress, is carried and passed back and forth from one male dancer to the next — her “beasts of burden,” as Keith Richards might say.
Lucnica is currently in the middle of a monthlong tour of Japan. On Saturday, the dancers will perform in Itami and on Sunday they hit Takatsuki — both in Osaka Prefecture. Next week the troupe will take a detour to the tsunami-devastated regions of northern Japan, performing in the city of Ishinomaki on March 4, then Fukushima on the 5th and Sendai on the 6th. It will then round off its tour with a few stops in Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture before concluding in Chiba on March 13.
For more information, call Folklore Report at (042) 679-3837 or visit www.folklor.com.