The Kujawiak and the Polish oberek
The Kujawiak and the Polish oberek were the last to gain the status of national dances. They were danced before 1913, apart from polonaise, the Krakowiak and mazurka, by almost everybody at small and large balls, in manor houses and in cities. The Kujawiak as a national dance to be performed onstage has little to do with the indigenous dance of the region of Kujawy. However, the accompanying music encourages dancers to make rapid movements and gestures, not lacking in poetry. Kujawiaks were composed by Karol Namysłowski and W. Osmański.
The Polish oberek, on the other hand, is rapid, enjoyable and carefree, full of energy shown by the dancer. The name is derived from the local name of the dance: “owijak”, “obertas” and “okrągły”, all of which refer to “revolving” in Polish. Pairs of dancers revolve and decorate the dance with elaborate steps: they click their heels in mid-leap, bend their knees and stamp their feet, whereas the female dancer makes basic steps. Kujawiak and Oberek motifs were used by Fryderyk Chopin, Henryk Wieniawski, Grażyna Bacewicz and other Polish composers.