31 July 2018

The 'living' legend of Osman Taka and his dance

Have you seen or heard about the dance of Osman Taka? Well the dance is so popular until noways while the protagonist Osman Taka and his story become a legend now, passing to all generations.
Osman Taka was a real person, lived in Konispol in the border between Albania and Greece and belong to "├žam community" and he was a warrior fighting ottomans in the years 1848-1887. Osman Taka was arrested during that time and sent to be executed in front of Vali of Ioannina. Before he being executed, he was asked to say his final wish. And Osman Taka's final wish was to dance.

He was with some other companions and asked them to dance together. It was a short dance, but so intense and touching, full of pride and melancholy, of power and grace, which left everyone speechless. It was the wife of Vali who first broke the silence, and protested that such a good dancer should not be hanged. So finally the governor, who, like the others, had admired in his heart that dance never seen before, publicly declared that the young man deserved to live, so that he could continue to dance, in that way, with those steps, in that inimitable way. Then, availing himself of his powers, he canceled the sentence, and sent Osman Taka alive, with his companions, to Konispol.


This dance is still so popular, and last almost 3 minutes..
During this dance the protagonist, supported by a hand by one of his companions, kneels and it slowly folds backwards, until it touches the ground with the nape of the neck, thus arching the chest upwards. On that chest, then, another dancer rests his foot, and rises above it with all his weight. But here, just when the dance seems over, another companions do the same. It is an amazing dance, a fantastic intangible heritage for Albanians.


See the original article for Osman Taka here 
See the famous dance below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=29&v=Mzu_cmXTfNc



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