Nobility and Passion

A fascinating history of the baroque dance La Folia


Collegium Marianum – music and dance ensamble (Czech Republic)
Jana Semerádová – artistic director
Andrea Eva Miltnerová – choreography
Eva Kovar – costume design

Sunday 5 August 2007, 7.30 pm
Monday 6 August, 2007, 7.30 pm
Vrtba Garden, Karmelitská 25, Praha 1


The performance took the audience on a journey through the world of renaissance and baroque ‘folia’, across Spain and France, to the virtuoso violin variations of Corelli and Vivaldi. “Folia is an extremely noisy Portuguese dance, performed in procession to the accompaniment of rattles, tambourines and other instruments. The noise is so loud and the music so fast, that everyone seems deprived of their senses: and so the dance is called ‘folia’, from the Tuscan word ‘folle’ which means ‘mad, crazy’”. From the uproarious street merrymaking of the 15th century Portugal to the refined entertainment at the 17th century European courts, ‘folia’ brought an element of the spontaneity of popular music to the world of serious music. The simple attractive melody, which basically derives from a repeated harmonic scheme in the bass, has provided inspiration for many composers from the baroque period to the present day, from the arias of Bach’s ‘pastoral’ cantatas to the popular film hit of Vangeli.

The dancers performed both lively and dignified Spanish ‘folia’, the elegantly sensual authentic choreography ‘Folie d’Espagne’ and the graceful Italian ‘La Follia’. The Spanish rhythms together with the musical spontaneity of the performers ensured everyone’s foot started tapping…