The town of Korcula is well known for Moreška – a traditional sword dance that was common through the Mediterranean in 12th and 13th century
The dance originated in Spain, associated to the conflict between Moors and Christians. In Dalmatia its popularity was linked with the struggles against Ottoman Empire, above all with the victory over a Battle of Lepanto, the first major Ottoman defeat by the Christian powers.
Through the centuries Moreška vanished from the Mediterranean and nowadays is only to be find in Korčula, where it is performed for over 400 years.
Briefly, the traditional sword dance follows the story of the conflict between the Red King versus the Black King and their soldiers, as Bula – the Red King’s fiancée is captured by Black army. Following the dialogues between Kings, the romantic and ritualized sword battle starts, and is performed in seven circles representing seven different dances with swords. Finally, Black King is conquered and Bula happily returns into arms of her beloved Red King.
The traditional sword dance of Moreška became one of the most important tourist attractions and its yearly performance on St. Todor’s Day (July 29th) is now a regular event during the summer season, held every Monday and Thursday in Open air cinema.
To get a glimpse of it, follow this link!