UNESCO honors traditional dance in Poland

A traditional dance of Poland called the polonaise was formerly outlawed. The dance is now being honored by the UN. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is known by the acronym UNESCO. The polonaise was included to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List on December 5. The dance, according to the U.N. organization, “symbolizes cooperation, reconciliation, and equality.” It is thought that the dance originated in the eighteenth century. It has been performed at village festivals and at gatherings for the wealthy and influential. Composers like Frederic Chopin and Johann Sebastian Bach have drawn inspiration from the polonaise. It also continues to play a significant role in family and school festivities.


The Polonaise should be included to UNESCO’s list, according to a request made by Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The government reported that the public was quite supportive of its request. The UNESCO submission was being supported by thousands of individuals on Facebook and other social media, Joanna Cicha-Kuczynska of the ministry’s Department of Monuments Protection told The Associated Press. She mentioned that a large community, comprising entire families, participates in the polonaise dance and continues the custom. A dancer from the Warsaw University Dance Theater named Marcin Pracki clarified that a group might dance together in a polonaise.


The “walking dance” is a traditional form from which the dance evolved. It gained popularity in royal European balls, or dance celebrations, around the 18th century. The French term for “Polish” is polonaise. Professor of musicology at the University of Warsaw is Szymon Paczkowski. He concurs that UNESCO need to list the dance. He declared, “It’s a dance with both Polish and international traditions.” Poland was split and ruled by Russia, Prussia, and Austria for more than a century in the late 18th century. Within the territories it conquered, Russia outlawed the polonaise.


Around this time, Polish people—especially those living abroad—became increasingly connected to Poland through the polonaise. Chopin was one among them; he emigrated from Poland in 1830 and settled in Paris the following year. Chopin’s polonaises are still among of the most well-liked compositions for classical piano nowadays. The polonaise is currently the first dance performed at high school proms in Poland. Poland’s communist authorities outlawed it from schools following World War II. The authorities were concerned about its ties to prior rulers and Polish nationalism.

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