The Forgotten Movement

In the late 2013, a study of the history of dance and dance movement and its development in the context of early human history was initiated and on those grounds a conceptual "re"construction of prehistoric dances was created. It was presented in the form of an educational dance performance with the goal of presenting the archaeological heritage through a possible vision of dances and dance movements from few selected prehistoric periods - Neolithic, Eneolithic, and Bronze Age. The project was named The Forgotten Movement.

The research was based on the study of ethnochoreological, ethnoarchaeological, and archaeological literature as well as on consultations with Croatian and foreign ethnochoreologists, choreographers, archaeologists, and ethnologists. Besides the development and history of dance movement, it also covered the archaeologically investigated cultural and economic levels of development of prehistoric communities and their clothes (as clothes are a part of cultural identity closely related to folklore) that were studied in the archaeological context. Although only segmentary, some traces from the life of prehistoric communities provide us with enough elements to reconstruct parts of their everyday life. Knowledge and understanding of the past necessarily requires understanding of not only present-time conditions but also their development, and includes historical and ethnographic understanding as an integral, thoughtful study of processes that have resulted in certain characteristics of space and life in it, both today and in the past. The aim of the project is to animate and educate the general public by depicting a specific segment of life of former communities and by getting acquainted with some of the universal links between the human dance movement and the world in which it is taking place.

Three six-minute choreographies with thirteen amateur and semi-professional dancers were rehearsed and a soundtrack was created in collaboration with professional musicians and in line with the data from the literature about the possible features of instruments and music from the periods in question. Also, costumes were made (based on the data from the literature and the already existing reconstructions) as possible replicas of clothes and jewellery from the mentioned periods. All the clothes were designed and made by Tena Karavidović, and the replicas of the bronze jewellery by Ana Mrazek.

Here you can find costume galleries and more details about them:


How we reconstructed
prehistoric clothing...
The educational dance performance premiered on 18 June 2014 at the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb, followed by performances on 29 May 2015 on the occasion of the Museum Day in the Lapidarium of the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb and as a part of the Sepomaia Festival in Umag in July of the same year. In those performances, each choreography was preceded by an informative educational textual introduction about the archaeological period that is being displayed and about the nature of the dance in question.
Klovićevi Dvori 18/6/2014
The purpose of this "reconstruction" was not just to depict possible dance movements of the past but also to display the rich archaeological heritage from the earliest past of these areas by giving both visual identity through the reconstruction of clothes and informative-educational introductions to each of the mentioned periods, based on past archeological findings. The aim is to stimulate the interest in Croatian and European tangible and intangible cultural heritage, of both the public as well as scientists, and the interest of scientists for the theme of dance in the archaeological context and for the studies.
Turčin, I. 2019, Dance Motifs on Prehistoric Pottery from Eastern Croatia, Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, 2019., 37-54
Turčin, I. 2018, The Forgotten Movement - A (Re)construction of Prehistoric Dances, EXARC Journal, 2018/1
Turčin, I. 2017, Prehistoric Dances - Possibilities of Reconstruction, 10th Experimental Archaeology Conference EAC10, Leiden 2017, poster