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AjŠino Oro

a dance and song

Region: Macedonian dance to a Kosovo Albanian song

Pronounced: EYE-shee-noh OH-roh


Ajšino Oro = Ajshe's Dance, Ajshe is a woman's name.

Might be the dance to the 2/4 song Ku ke timor Ajshe, now famous as a recent hip-hop hit from Kosova.

AJŠINO ORO was introduced to the IFD community by Miodrag "Ciga" Despotović and his wife Ivon Despotović-Eschweiler.

Snipping from album-jacket biographic notes, Ciga was

"born in Belgrade"

"soloist of the world famous Yugoslav Company KOLO for 18 years"

"choreographed for many Yugoslavian dance companies"

"came to the Netherlands in 1966"

taught "Yugoslavian folkdances, national dances from other countries, & ballet"

choreographed "new dances based on authentic motifs from various styles of Yugoslavian dancing (Serbian, Macedonian, Shiptar) making use of music which springs from the ancient folk-music tradition."

Ivon is Dutch & danced with KOLO for two years.

Ciga & Ivon produced their own albums on the RTB (Radio-Televizija Beograd) label, apparently anthologies of hot cuts selected from regular RTB issues. These albums lack catalog numbers, but the one with AJŠINO ORO (Side I, Band 4) is "Volume 3" and unambiguously entitled SIXTEEN YUGOSLAVIAN DANCES CREATED BY CIGA & IVON DESPOTOVIĆ. Since there are precisely 16 cuts on the album, we may fairly conclude that the AJŠINO they presented to IFDers was choreographed by them.

Ciga carefully acknowledges the musicians for each cut. In this case:

"4. AJŠINO ORO (ALBANIAN DANCE) (Z. Tupeci) Narodni orkestar Radio Prištine"

The other ALBANIAN DANCE cuts on this particular album are:

I-2. KELEC (narodni) Narodni orkestar Radio Prištine

II-2. AGIMI (narodni) Narodni orkestar Radio Prištine [to me, this is a version of the "Memede, more, Memede" song melody to which Atanas Kolarovski taught the dance "Memede"]

II-5. ALBANSKA SVADBENA IGRA (V.Kandić) Vladeta Kandić sa svojim ansamblom

II-7. BRACNO ORO (G. Zajmi) Narodni orkestar Radio Prištine

I have a dance description which gives no background information, such as the regional provenance of the "authentic motifs" used in creating this dance. If anyone knows more about the source material, or knows how to contact Ciga & Ivon, I would be most interested.

I also have a musical score & lyrics for the haunting song beginning "O moj bukuroshe" to which this dance is done. This document is from a syllabus issued in 1980 by the good old North Country Folk Dance Camp which used to be held annually in Minnesota. My copy of the lyrics, which I will post when I have time to do them justice, has been materially improved by the editing efforts of my Kosovo Albanian friend and fellow folkdancer Professor Latif Susuri, and we should be able to get a little help on a translation from that text.

Latif Susuri is a native of village Zhur between Prizren & the border alongside the road up onto the Opojë plateau, formerly plant pathologist in the Albanian-language university in Prishtina & more recently active in the underground university, current status & whereabouts unknown to me. Latif, who danced with "Ivo Lola Ribar" while attending the university in Beograd, lived with me for a year here in Madison as a grad student around 1980 and was an enthusiastic and skilled member of our folkdance community. If you hear any news of him or of village Zhur, which we have visited and in which we have stayed on half-a-dozen of our Balkan journeys, please let me know! It is only a few kilometers from the border-crossing going down the Drim to Kukes.


Michael Kuharski