The dances
Oliena distinguishes itself also for its dances, unique and characteristics in their genre. They never miss: in every festival, every wedding, feasts and popular events, dances are evidence of an ancient, felt, living tradition. Dances are like real rituals: men and women joined as a chain, they get in circle to figure the sun and the moon, expressions of life, as nature renews itself. Dancing, they wish for a good crop and welfare: the higher they jump, the higher grows the ear of corn.
Our repertoire is composed by these dances: "su passu torrau", "su ballu tundu", "su dennaru", "s'arciu", "s'arciu hantihu" e "su durdurinu".
While the "passu torrau", the "ballu tundu" and "dennaru" are quite simple to be performed and can resemble to other Sardinian dances, "s'arciu", "s'arciu hantihu" and "su durdurinu" are a lot more challenging and are exclusively typical of Oliena's tradition. They are all very ancient and they have been kept safe and handed down for generations. Especially "su durdurinu", that is Oliena's dance for wholeness, the most antique and mysterious, of unknown origin. It probably has pagan origins. It is danced by skilled dancers, music sung by a monodic voice that interspaced by the rhythm of the footsteps. Nowadays, we still perform these dances outdoors, on the occasions of religious feasts, weddings, carnival and every event you can celebrate.
Dances music are sung by singing "tenore" and by one voice, and played by barrel organ.

The "tenore" singing is a typical chorus traditional of the centre of Sardinia. It is performed by a soloist, who intonates and guides the song, and accompanied by three choralists (with three different ranges of voice named "mesuvohe", "bassu" and "contra") who perform an archaic chorus that imitates animals sounds. Living in a pastoral life, they imitate the animals they have close (pork, beef and lamb). These three voices melt to form a melodic chorus unique in its kind. In each performance, these chorus express the singer's will and mood (sad, happy, in love.). It has a cadenced rhythm and can be well used for traditional dances. This millenary singing has been defined by Unesco as "intangible patrimony of humanity".

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