PRONUNCIATION: BEE-sehr-kah - BOH-yehr-kah
TRANSLATION: Biserka is from a woman's name ("biser") meaning "Pearl." Because of the two melodies it is also known as Biserka-Bojerka (or Biserka-Bojarka, a misspelling from the record label). Bojerka refers to a noble woman (from the Romanian "Boiereasca," meaning "woman of noble birth").
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Elsie Ivancich Dunin who learned Biserka from Desa Djordjević at a folk dance seminar in Yugoslavia in 1967 and subsequently taught it to folk dancers in the United States at the May 1968 California Statewide Institute and the 1968 Santa Barbara Folk Dance Conference. It was published by Ljubica C. and Danica C. Janković in their 1934 book Narone Igre, I (Folk Dances, I) as Bojerka from Pomoravlje and Biserka from Jagodina, Serbia. Pomoravlje is a general term which in its widest sense marks valleys of any of three Morava rivers in Serbia: West Morava (Zapadno or Western Pomoravlje), Južna Morava (Južno or Southern Pomoravlje), and Great Morava (Veliko or Greater Pomoravlje). In the narrow sense, the term is applied only to the Greater Pomoravlje and follows a general way of coining river valley names in Serbian using prefix po-, meaning literally "(land) along Morava."
BACKGROUND: According to Mrs. Djordjević, Biserka was danced at elegant balls at the turn of the century in towns and cities in Serbia. It is found in Pomoravlje, Serbia.
MUSIC: Folkraft (45rpm) 1567x45-A
AMAN (45rpm) ARLP 16440
Jugoton (LP) LPM-5 "Bosna"

Geisler, Richard. Sheet music, "Lark in the Morning Free Music Library,"

FORMATION:Open cir of mixed M and W with joined hands held at shldr level in "W" pos.
METER/RHYTHM: 3/8 (Biserka) and 6/8 (Bojerka)
STEPS/STYLE: The dance style reflects the influence if fashionable dress of turn-of-the-century Serbia and incorporates a "swooping" feeling in the walking steps.


1Facing diag R, step R (ct 1);
2Step L (ct 1);
3Step R (ct 1); step L (ct 3);
4Step R (ct 1);
5Facing ctr, step fwd L bringing R to L (ct 1);
6Step bwd R bring L to R (ct 1);
7Facing diag L, step L (ct 1); step R (ct 3);
8Step L (ct 1).
 Repeat entire dance from beg.
1NOTE: On the Folkraft recording, dancers hold position for 4 full meas when the music for Biserka ends, then begin the dance again as described above when the music for Bojerka starts.

Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes