PRONUNCIATION: koh-kohn-YESH-teh TRANSLATION: From the Romanian word "coconeşte" meaning "in the style of a young nobleman." SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Dick Crum and John Filcich. In the early 1950s, Michael and Mary Ann Herman spread the dance from New York. Jane Farwell brought it to Texas. Rickey Holden described a significantly different version for Folkraft (LP) LP-53. BACKGROUND: Kokonješte or in dialect Kukunješće (also described as Kukunješte, Kukunješ, Kukunješće, and Kokonješče) is danced to many different tunes. The one that became most popular, and is associated most with the dance as brought to the United States by Serbs who lived in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is titled "Arapsko Kokonješte (meaning Arabian, as in the horse). It as a favorite of turn-of-the-century ballrooms as well as village churchyards. By 1900, it had attained sufficient popularity among Serbs living in the Austro-Hungarian Empire that it was transplanted to the United States and Canada by immigrants.
Dick Crum said, "The term "Kokonješte pattern" is often used by Yugoslav dance specialists with reference to a large group of kolos that share Kokonješte's basic structure. This group includes dances well known to many U.S. and Canadian folk dancers, such as Žikino Kolo, Čuješ Mala, and U Šest Koraka."
The dance described here was commonly done at Serbian and Croatian dance events in the eastern United States during the early 1950's.
MUSIC: Balkan Records (45rpm) 576B "Kokonješte Kolo"
NAMA 2 (LP) 1002, side B, band 2, "Kokonješte"
Folk Art (10" EP) LP-107 "Kokonješte"
Folk Dancer (45rpm) MH 1007, side b, "Kukunješče Kolo"
FORMATION: Open cir of mixed M and W with hands joined and held down in "V" pos, end dancers have free hands at small of back. METER/RHYTHM: 2/4 STEPS/STYLE: Steps are small. MEAS MOVEMENT DESCRIPTION INTRODUCTION 1-12 No action during the first "Arapsko" theme. I. KOKONJEŠTE 1 Facing slightly to R and moving in LOD, run R (ct 1), run L (ct 2), 2 Facing ctr, step R slightly swd with R heel slightly turned outward (ct 1), step L next to R (ct &), step R next to L (ct 2), 3 Reverse action of meas 2 to L with opp ftwk, 4 Repeat action of meas 2, 5-8 Reverse action of meas 1-4 to L with opp ftwk. 9-32 Repeat action of meas 1-8 three more times. NOTE: On meas 1, some dancers exaggerate the two running steps by stepping outward from the ctr on the first ct and twd the ctr on the second ct, keeping the ft close together in a zig-zag motion. II. ARAPSKO ("Arab style") 1 Facing slightly to R and moving in LOD, step R (ct 1), step L (ct 2), 2 Facing ctr, step R slightly swd with heel slightly turned outward (ct 1), touch L next to R (ct 2), 3 Reverse action of meas 2, 4 Repeat action of meas 2, 5-8 Reverse action of meas 1-4 to L with opp ftwk, 9-12 Repeat action of meas 1-4. NOTE: Some dancers like to raise their arms fwd to just below shldr height, elbows relaxed and rounded, during this fig. Repeat entire dance from beg except that dance alternates to opp dir with opp ftwk.
Stara baba stara je,
Kad se ljubi mlada je!
Tebe babo voleću,
Od ljubavi Umredću!
Cura gazi baricu
U Osijeku ćuprija;
Tri se stup prebila!
An old woman is old,
But when she makes love, she's young!
Old woman, I'll love you,
I'll die of love for you!
A girl stepped in a puddle
And caught a little frog.
There's a bridge in Osijek;
Three of its supports (piers) are broken.
Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes