Belarusian authentic folk dances, such as Liavonikha, Polka Janka, Kryzhachok, Bulba, Charot, are the pride of Belarusian culture. For Belarusians it is enough to hear a familiar tune of the pipe, tambourine or garmon (a kind of Russian button accordion), and they unintentionally want to start dancing.
These dances have existed for many centuries. It is known that no ritual, no festival, no holiday was spent without them.
At first, Belarusian upper class did not accept the dances, as they found them primitive. That is why it took several decades before a Belarusian folk dance gained popularity. For the first time, it appeared on stage in the 20th century with the help of the Ignat Buynitsky theatre group. Since then, lively, cheerful, and energetic Belarusian dances have been living peoples’ hearts.
Choreographers love and value Belarusian authentic dances too. Zvir Orest came to Minsk in the 1970s, and since that time these dances became his passion.
Zvir studied to dance under master Valentin Dudkevich (he is the art director of the State Dance Ensemble of Belarus). Now Zvir is a teacher himself and imparts his knowledge to the younger generation.
A Belarusian folk dance is a real show, a multitude of characters and tempers, a splendor, and a great variation of performances. For example, the jocose dialogue between Liavonikha and Liavon is performed differently in all Belarusian regions, but people dance it with the peculiar Belarusian color.
Please see video for actual dances and folk costumes Belarusians usually wear performing them.