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Slobodan "Boban" Slović was a leading Serbian dance specialist who, more than any other folk dance teacher from Serbia, helped introduce hundreds of Americans to authentic village Serbian dances, with their true flavor and styling.
Born on January 12, 1947, in the village of Atenica near Čačak, to parents who were both good dancers, he grew up in a family with a strong musical tradition. He began dancing at the age of 13, graduated from the Upper Economic School, and went on to study folklore in Sarajevo, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Novi Sad, Beograd, and in Macedonia. He devoted much time to folklore research in the villages of many areas, particularly in Serbia. He danced in the ensemble Dule Milosavljević Zele, where he became the artistic director. In 1973 he continued his work by establishing an ensemble in Gornji Milanovac, and then went on in 1975 to found the folklore section of the Cultural-Artistic Society Abrasević in Čačak, where he became the Artistic Director and Choreographer, a position he held until his untimely death. He continued always to broaden his knowledge of folk dance and of choreography, so that today his choreographies are danced all over the former Yugoslavia. Under his leadership, the Ensemble Abrasević toured over much of the world, onto every continent except Africa and Australia. Everywhere they were greeted with acclaim, winning many awards.
Slobodan first came to the United States in 1985 to teach at the Northwest Kolo Festival in Seattle, Washington. He taught in the U.S. on eight separate teaching tours, including being a featured instructor two years each at the Northwest Kolo Festival, the Stockton Folk Dance Camp, the California Kolo Festival, and the Idyllwild Folk Dance Workshop. He taught at numerous workshops, clubs, and Serbian churches, and has set choreographies for and done master classes with several dance companies in this the U.S. In 1997, he fulfilled one of his dreams by bringing his Ensemble Abrasević on a U.S. tour. Slobodan is the only dance instructor from Serbia to have had, for the past 18 years, a continuing and ongoing presence in the folk dance scene in the U.S.
In 2003, Slobodan was able to fulfill another dream, which was to show American folk dancers some of the cultural and folkloric riches of Serbia, with the founding of the folklore tours "Folklore Treasures of Serbia" in co-operation with Cheryl Spasojević.
At the beginning of 2001, after Slobodan returned home from his last teaching tour in the U.S, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Thanks to the generosity of many folk dancers who helped donate funds he had radical surgery. In the Spring of 2003, however, he began having frequent and severe abdominal pain. On May 12th, 2003, he went in to the hospital for urgent but successful surgery for an intestinal blockage. The following day at 12:30 p.m., however, he went into cardiac arrest and passed away.
Slobodan Slović is survived by his wife Slavica, daughter Sandra, and numerous other relatives. His death is truly a loss to his family, to each of his many friends, and to the folk dance world as a whole.
This biography and accompanying photographs were submitted by Cheryl Spasojević who is shown with Slobodan.
Dances Slobodan taught include Ajd' Povedi Veselo, Batrna (Stara Vlajna), Berka, Brestovljana, Brzak, Bujanovački Čačak, Čačak, Devojačko Kolo, Gokčansko, Groznica, Jovančica, Katanka, Kolubarski Vez, Koso Moja, Kostreljka, Krainka, Kriva Kruška, Kriva Kučka, Leskovačka Četvorka, Lile Lile, Mala Bašta, Mariaca, Metovičanka, Moravsko, Ne Sedi Žemo, Omoljanca Prepišor, Planinka, Polomka, Pop Marinkovo, Popovičanka, Pošuvoja, Ratka, Sa, Studenički Morovac, Studenički Opančar, Studenički Trojanac, Šarano, Šestorka, Šestorka Sitna, Šetnja, Šokc, Što Gu Nema Cveta, Šumadinsko Nebesko, Šumatovac, Šudenički Moravac, Todorka, Treće Po Oro, Tri Pa Zašče, Trojanac, Valjevska Podvala, Vlasinka, Vračarka, Zaplet, and Zupčanka.