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Watch, dance, or learn: 3 ways you can experience Serbian folklore dance culture this week at St. Sava in Merrillville

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Whether you’ve only seen the glistening domes topped with crosses as you’ve driven down I-65, enjoyed delicious spit roasted lamb at the annual Serb Fest in the summer, or regularly participate in services every Sunday morning, you have three unique opportunities over the next several days to explore the interesting facets of Serbian folklore dance culture taking place at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, IN.

You’ll be able to watch a special feature on television, join us to learn some dance steps during an open dance session, or learn more about the folk costumes and art at an exhibition and presentation.

You don’t have to be Serbian to learn something new or have fun. In fact, everyone in the community is invited to join us as we share and contribute to the cultural diversity in Northwest Indiana.

Check out the options below and join us for these unique experiences!

#1 – Watch it on TV: Tune in to see the story of “Srbadija” youth folklore featured on Lakeshore Public Television Channel 56

The youth folklore group named “Srbadija” of St. Sava Church in Merrillville will be featured on the locally produced Lakeshore Public Media program “Eye on the Arts” that will air Friday, March 3rd at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 5th at 8:30 a.m.

You’ll learn about the story of how this unique art form helps connect youth today, but also connect them with a heritage that spans the generations.

Click the play button on the YouTube video below to see the full television show segment.

[youtube id=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxU7oidazWI” width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””]

Tune in to Comcast channel 239 or Channel 56 on Broadcast, DIRECTV, and DISH.

#2 – Dance it with us: Weekly folklore dance sessions open to adults from around the community every Monday evening

  • When: Monday, March 6th at 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: South Wing Social Center, St. Sava Church at 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN

You are invited to join the dozens of people that have been showing up each week to celebrate the cultural and healthy exercise benefits associated with traditional Serbian Folklore Dance at St. Sava Church.

The Adult Folklore Dance Sessions meet each Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in either the Pavilion or South Wing Social Center at the church learning new dances, getting a dose of exercise, and simply having fun.

The open group seeks to gather people interested in learning traditional Serbian Kolo dances and to just have fun. The group welcomes those with no previous dancing experience from the greater Northwest Indiana community along with people who learned the traditional dances growing up in youth folklore groups and want to keep dancing with friends in an adult environment.

Everyone is welcome to attend – men and women, members of St. Sava, members of other churches throughout Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland, and anyone in the community who simply wants to learn about the culture and the fun, circle dance called the Kolo (no more sitting on the sidelines during Serb Fest – you will be dancing like a pro by the time the fest rolls around if you practice – www.serbfest.org).

The dance sessions each Monday evening start at 7:00 p.m. and end by 9:00 p.m. Each session begins with some general dance instruction and review for dances that are commonly performed at various Serbian festivals and celebrations. The second half of the session focuses on more structured types of folklore dances. All of the instruction is provided by Miloš Drljević Djakovac, the dance instructor for St. Sava’s youth folklore group named Srbadija.

The focus of these dance sessions is to have fun, so don’t worry if you don’t have traditional Serbian “opanke” dance shoes in your closet. Wear your tennis shoes and comfortable clothes because dancing the kolo can be a serious workout!

Magda Serdar, organizer of the dance sessions, explained her reasons for wanting to help form such a group. “I just love folklore. You are never too old to dance. A lot of people have talked about forming such a group and there are so many people who have danced in the past when younger, now is the time to do it,” Serdar said.

Dance sessions begin at 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings at St. Sava and take place in either the South Wing Social Center or the Pavilion, depending on group size and room availability. A small fee of $5 per week will be collected and used to support the church, children’s folklore, and children’s choir.

For more questions or more information, please call Magda Serdar at (440) 954-2039.

#3 – Learn its rich history: Serbian national folk costume exhibition and presentation

  • When: Tuesday, March 7th at 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: South Wing Social Center, St. Sava Church at 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN

Visualize and engage different geographic regions of Serbia through an exhibition of handmade folklore dance costumes and art taking place Tuesday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the South Wing Social Center at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, Indiana. The event is free and open to the public.

Choreographer and folk artist Milos Drljevic Djakovac will showcase various costumes, including those he has handmade, representing differing areas of Serbia. He will provide a presentation with illustrations and talk about the different styles of Serbian folk costumes in relation to their geographic regions of Serbia. The presentation will provide insights about the fabrics, the colors, and the intricate designs.

Special guest and noted Chicago area artist Gordana Nenadovic, will talk about elements of folklore and folk costumes in Serbian painting and naive art.

Nenadovic is an artist, professor, and noted icon painter living and working in Chicago. Her work has been exhibited in the US, Canada, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and throughout many cities in Serbia. She specializes in Byzantine style icons and other forms of art including wall mural decorative artistic painting.

 

Serbian national folk costume exhibition and presentation at St. Sava in Merrillville – Tuesday, Mar. 7

By | Folklore Groups, General Information/News | No Comments

Click image to enlarge

Visualize and engage different geographic regions of Serbia through an exhibition of handmade folklore dance costumes and art taking place Tuesday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the South Wing Social Center at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, Indiana. The event is free and open to the public.

Choreographer and folk artist Milos Drljevic Djakovac will showcase various costumes, including those he has handmade, representing differing areas of Serbia. He will provide a presentation with illustrations and talk about the different styles of Serbian folk costumes in relation to their geographic regions of Serbia. The presentation will provide insights about the fabrics, the colors, and the intricate designs.

Special guest and noted Chicago area artist Gordana Nenadovic, will talk about elements of folklore and folk costumes in Serbian painting and naive art.

Nenadovic is an artist, professor, and noted icon painter living and working in Chicago. Her work has been exhibited in the US, Canada, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and throughout many cities in Serbia. She specializes in Byzantine style icons and other forms of art including wall mural decorative artistic painting.

Tune in to Srbadija Folklore feature on Lakeshore Public Television Channel 56

You can also learn more about the Srbadija Youth Folklore Group of St. Sava Church in Merrillville during a special feature on the Lakeshore Public Media program “Eye on the Arts” that will air Friday, March 3rd at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 5th at 8:30 a.m.

Tune in to Comcast channel 239 or Channel 56 on Broadcast, DIRECTV, and DISH.

Click the play button on the YouTube video below to see the promotional commercial for the upcoming television show.

[youtube id=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra-Mr5JtBq4″ width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””]

 

Srbadija Youth Folklore of St. Sava: 2 performances, 2 states – Saturday, Feb. 11

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The Saturday, Feb. 11 weekend will be busy for the youth of “Srbadija” Folklore of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana as they will be traveling to perform at folklore festivals in Michigan and Illinois.

The Middle Group and Big Group of Srbadija will be traveling to the “Rastko Winter Dance Festival” taking place at St. Stevan Decanski Serbian Orthodox Church in Warren, MI near Detroit sponsored by their Rastko Folklorna Grupa. The festival will feature dance groups from around the USA and Canada along with a 3-DJ Party that will begin immediately following the festival. The program will start at 5 p.m. at 14235 E 11 Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48088.

The Pee Wee Group of Srbadija will be traveling to the annual “Winter Festival” taking place at St. Simeon Mirotochivi Serbian Orthodox Church – South Chicago sponsored by their Gavrilo Princip Folklore Group. The festival features a variety of Serbian Folklore Groups and a great opportunity to connect with friends. The program will start at 5:30 p.m. at 3737 E 114th St., Chicago, IL 60617.

Look for opportunities to support the youth of Srbadija Folklore of St. Sava Church in Merrillville throughout 2017 at the many opportunities listed below as they carry on the Serbian traditions, building lifelong relationships in the process.

Srbadija Youth Folklore 2017 Schedule

  • 02/11/17 – Performances in two cities, two states
    • Middle Group and Big Group Performances at Rastko Winter Dance Festival, St. Stevan Decanski Serbian Orthodox Church in Warren, MI near Detroit
    • Pee Wee Group Performance at “Winter Festival” taking place at St. Simeon Mirotochivi Serbian Orthodox Church – South Chicago
  • 02/19/17 – Father Marko’s 10-Year Anniversary Celebration at St. Sava, Merrillville, IN (performance time TBD)
  • 03/02/17 – No practice, first week of Lent
  • 03/12/17 – Srbadija Hosting Lenten Luncheon (St. Sava Church, South Wing Social Center)
  • 04/13/17 – No practice, Holy Thursday
  • 04/22/17 – Frula, Sveti Elijah, Merrillville
  • 04/29/17 – Soko Palmer, Chicago
  • 05/13/17 – Moravac, St. Nikola, Brookfield
  • 05/16/17 – Extra Practice for Spring Festival – Mandatory
  • 05/18/17 – Final Rehearsal for Spring Festival – Mandatory
  • 05/20/17 – Srbadija, St. Sava, Merrillville
  • 10/14/17 – Chili Cook Off Fundraiser at St. Sava, Merrillville
  • 10/21/17 – Srbadija, St. Sava, Merrillville Fall Festival
  • 10/28/17 – Frula, Sveti Elijah, Merrillville Fall Festival
  • 10/29/17 – Srbadija hosting luncheon after Liturgy in Pavilion at St. Sava, Merrillville

Weekly folklore dance sessions open to adults from around the community – Monday, Feb. 13

By | Folklore Groups, General Information/News | No Comments

You are invited to join the dozens of people that have been showing up each week to celebrate the cultural and healthy exercise benefits associated with traditional Serbian Folklore Dance at St. Sava Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, Indiana.

The Adult Folklore Dance Sessions meet each Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in either the Pavilion or South Wing Social Center at the church learning new dances, getting a dose of exercise, and simply having fun.

The open group seeks to gather people interested in learning traditional Serbian Kolo dances and to just have fun. The group welcomes those with no previous dancing experience from the greater Northwest Indiana community along with people who learned the traditional dances growing up in youth folklore groups and want to keep dancing with friends in an adult environment.

Everyone is welcome to attend – men and women, members of St. Sava, members of other churches throughout Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland, and anyone in the community who simply wants to learn about the culture and the fun, circle dance called the Kolo (no more sitting on the sidelines during Serb Fest – you will be dancing like a pro by the time the fest rolls around if you practice – www.serbfest.org).

The dance sessions each Monday evening start at 7:00 p.m. and end by 9:00 p.m. Each session begins with some general dance instruction and review for dances that are commonly performed at various Serbian festivals and celebrations. The second half of the session focuses on more structured types of folklore dances. All of the instruction is provided by Miloš Drljević Djakovac, the dance instructor for St. Sava’s youth folklore group named Srbadija.

The focus of the dance sessions is to have fun, so don’t worry if you don’t have traditional Serbian “opanke” dance shoes in your closet. Wear your tennis shoes and comfortable clothes because dancing the kolo can be a serious workout!

Magda Serdar, organizer of the dance sessions, explained her reasons for wanting to help form such a group. “I just love folklore. You are never too old to dance. A lot of people have talked about forming such a group and there are so many people who have danced in the past when younger, now is the time to do it,” Serdar said.

Dance sessions begin at 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings at St. Sava and take place in either the South Wing Social Center or the Pavilion, depending on group size and room availability. A small fee of $5 per week will be collected and used to support the church, children’s folklore, and children’s choir.

For more questions or more information, please call Magda Serdar at (440) 954-2039.

Friday Night Zabava Thanksgiving Weekend at St. Sava Merrillville – Friday, Nov. 25

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St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church will host a Friday Night Zabava Thanksgiving weekend, November 25 in the Pavilion at St. Sava, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN 46410.

The festivities will begin at 6:00 p.m. Friday night featuring music by DJ Spaz playing the best music all night for your favorite dances.

This is a special opportunity for Serbs throughout Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area to come together for a classic Zabava experience to celebrate a shared culture and friendships. It’s also a great opportunity for members of the community to visit to experience Serbian culture, music, and foods.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m., dinners and a cash bar will be available. Admission is $10 with free admission for all children under 12 years old.

 

Srbadija Youth Folklore hosts Goulash Luncheon at St. Sava Merrillville – Sunday, Nov. 20

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The famous Goulash is back. Join us for delicious food and great company Sunday immediately following the Divine Liturgy Sunday, November 20 at St. Sava Church in the South Wing at 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN.

Mirko Kljajic will be making the special Goulash once again. Krofne, palacinke, and Serbian coffee will also be available for purchase.

Please help support our growing folklore groups by attending the luncheon that also serves as one of the ways that helps generate funds for our youth folklore programming.

Srbadija Folklore has had a busy year so far with multiple performances, hosting the Fall Folklore Festival in October, and hosting the Intercultural Folklore Festival that took place earlier this year in the spring – save-the-date for the the Intercultural Festival 2017 taking place Saturday, May 20, 2017. Look for more performance and event announcements by visiting the Srbadija Folklore website at http://www.saint.sava.net/folklore.

View all events relating to St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church open to church members and the public in the surrounding community by visiting our online calendar – http://sww.saintsava.net/calendar.

Talija Art Company from Serbia performs at St. Sava Merrillville – Sunday, Oct. 23

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Talija Art Company from Serbia is making a special stop on their USA Tour 2016 to perform traditional Balkan music and folklore dances Sunday, October 23 during a luncheon at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church located at 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, Indiana.

The dance group will perform the traditional Balkan Folklore dances in the Pavilion during a luncheon that will take place immediately following the Sunday Divine Liturgy. Everyone in the Northwest Indiana community are encouraged to attend the performance and guests are suggested to arrive in the Pavilion before 12:15 p.m.

According to St. Sava’s Priest Father Marko Matic, “This is great opportunity for Saint Sava Church to host such a great and popular Folklore Group.”

Talija Art Company has been performing across the country during their USA Tour 2016 in locations including Baltimore, Washington, Miami, New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, Dayton, South Bend, and more.

Talija Art Company will entertain with their spectacular dance performance.  This is an event you will not want to miss.  Invite your friends and family to join us at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church.  The luncheon and performance will take place in the pavilion/hall at St. Sava.  There is no charge for the luncheon or the performance, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Learn more about the Talija Art Company at their Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/skolafolklora.talija/

Nine dance groups take the “Fall Folklore Fest” stage at St. Sava – Saturday, Oct. 15

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Serbian Youth Folklore Dancers from as far away as Parma, Ohio will be among the nine different groups performing at the inaugural “Fall Folklore Festival” taking place Saturday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the Pavilion at St. Sava Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN.

Performances by the Srbadija Folklore Group of St. Sava and other Serbian dance groups participating in the program from throughout the Chicagoland area and midwest will showcase Serbian culture through dance. General admission tickets are open to the public and available at the door for $10. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend.

Serbian cuisine, beverages, and famous bake sale items will also be available for purchase throughout the evening.

For those desiring a more complete cultural experience, a Serbian “Zabava” (open dance party) will be available for all participants and audience members with music provided by DJ Rajic at the conclusion of all the official performances in the program by the featured dance groups.

Participating dance groups include (in alphabetical order):

  • Holy Resurrection Serbian Cathedral – Redwood Drive, Chicago, IL – Soko Folklore Ensemble – Facebook Page
  • Gracanica Serbian Church, Third Lake, IL –
  • St. Elijah Serbian Church, Merrillville, IL – Frula Folklore Ensemble – Facebook Page
  • St. George Serbian Church, Schererville, IN – Tromedja Folklore Ensemble – Facebook Page
  • St. John the Baptist Serbian Church, Bellwood, IL – Oplenac Folklore Ensemble
  • St. Nikola Serbian Church  Brookfield, IL – Moravac Folklore Ensemble
  • St. Sava Serbian Cathedral, Parma, OH – Facebook Page
  • St. Sava Serbian Church, Merrillville, IN – Srbadija Folklore – WebsiteFacebook Page
  • St. Simeon Serbian Church, 114th South Chicago, IL – Gavrilo Princip Folklore Ensemble – Facebook Page

Srbadija Folklore is also seeking table sponsorships and donations to defray the costs of the festival. Sponsors may donate $25 to be a “Table Sponsor” or may donate $75 for the cost of a “Box of Cevaps” for the event. To confirm your sponsorship donation, please send e-mail to Karen Knezic at karen.knezic@saintsava.net.

This Fall Folklore Festival maintains a focus on Serbian culture and dance, but Srbadija Folklore also hosts the “Intercultural Festival” that takes place each spring at St. Sava featuring youth dance groups from a variety of cultures. Youth from around the U.S. and Canada have participated to showcase culture and dance representing different regions of Serbia, Mexico, Greece, Ireland, Africa, Scandinavia, and India. The next Intercultural Dance Festival will take place May 20, 2017.

Please save-the-date Saturday, October 15 for the inaugural Fall Folklore Festival, hosted by Srbadija Folklore at St. Sava Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN 46410. For contact information about the Fall Folklore Fstival 2016 taking place October 15, 2016 and the Intercultural Festival 2017 taking place May 20, 2017, visit the www.saintsava.net/folklore website.

Fall Folklore Festival 2016 takes place at St. Sava, sponsorships available – Saturday, Oct. 15

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The youth folklore group “Srbadija” of St. Sava is hosting Serbian dance groups from around the midwest for the inaugural “Fall Folklore Festival” taking place Saturday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the Pavilion at St. Sava Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN.

Performances by the Srbadija Folklore Group and other Serbian dance groups participating in the program from throughout the Chicagoland area and midwest will showcase Serbian culture through dance. General admission tickets are open to the public and available at the door for $10. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend.

Serbian cuisine, beverages, and famous bake sale items will also be available for purchase throughout the evening.

For those desiring a more complete cultural experience, a Serbian “Zabava” (open dance party) will be available for all participants and audience members with music provided by DJ Rajic at the conclusion of all the official performances in the program by the featured dance groups.

Participating dance groups include (in alphabetical order):

  • Holy Resurrection Serbian Cathedral – Redwood Drive, Chicago, IL – Soko Folklore Ensemble – Facebook Page
  • Gracanica Serbian Church, Third Lake, IL –
  • St. Elijah Serbian Church, Merrillville, IL – Frula Folklore Ensemble – Facebook Page
  • St. George Serbian Church, Schererville, IN – Tromedja Folklore Ensemble – Facebook Page
  • St. John the Baptist Serbian Church, Bellwood, IL – Oplenac Folklore Ensemble
  • St. Nikola Serbian Church  Brookfield, IL – Moravac Folklore Ensemble
  • St. Sava Serbian Cathedral, Parma, OH – Facebook Page
  • St. Sava Serbian Church, Merrillville, IN – Srbadija Folklore – WebsiteFacebook Page
  • St. Simeon Serbian Church, 114th South Chicago, IL – Gavrilo Princip Folklore Ensemble – Facebook Page

Srbadija Folklore is also seeking table sponsorships and donations to defray the costs of the festival. Sponsors may donate $25 to be a “Table Sponsor” or may donate $75 for the cost of a “Box of Cevaps” for the event. To confirm your sponsorship donation, please send e-mail to Karen Knezic at karen.knezic@saintsava.net.

This Fall Folklore Festival maintains a focus on Serbian culture and dance, but Srbadija Folklore also hosts the “Intercultural Festival” that takes place each spring at St. Sava featuring youth dance groups from a variety of cultures. Youth from around the U.S. and Canada have participated to showcase culture and dance representing different regions of Serbia, Mexico, Greece, Ireland, Africa, Scandinavia, and India. The next Intercultural Dance Festival will take place May 20, 2017.

Please save-the-date Saturday, October 15 for the inaugural Fall Folklore Festival, hosted by Srbadija Folklore at St. Sava Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN 46410. For contact information about the Fall Folklore Fstival 2016 taking place October 15, 2016 and the Intercultural Festival 2017 taking place May 20, 2017, visit the www.saintsava.net/folklore website.

Srbadija Folklore announces board for 2016-2017

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Srbadija Folklore recently announced their 2016-2017 Board Members that will help lead the youth folklore group at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana.

Karen Knezic, president of the board again this year explained, “It is an honor to help continue leading this group and helping to connect young people who will cherish this experience throughout their lives. It’s also exciting to have such an enthusiastic group of parents stepping forward in leadership positions to that will really help strengthen the group.”

Knezic also added, “We are fortunate to have board members taking the lead in various aspects of Srbadija Folklore, but we couldn’t do any of this without the tireless dedication and effort from each and every parent, grandparent, and the other special people who bring the youth to the practices, the performances, and volunteer at our events. It really is a team effort and we are excited to move forward together in the year ahead.”

Srbadija Folklore Board Members for 2016-2017:

  • President – Karen Knezic
  • Vice President – Lela Jensen
  • Secretary – Vesna Radjenovich
  • Treasurer – Anka Dinich
  • Special Events Coordinator – Billie Vrbica
  • Fundraising Coordinator – Ursula Brboric

For more information about Srbadija Folklore, visit www.saintsava.net/folklore, follow the St. Sava Facebook Page or the Srbadija Facebook Page.