Total Croatia News – 01.2016

A little Irish influence in the Croatian capital.

Irish people are recognizable all over the world by their pubs, music and dance. Croatia also shares this love affair with the Irish people, which is demonstrated by the activities of the Irish Maiden dance group from Zagreb, which was founded ten years ago by Irishman Paul O’Grady, reports Vecernji List on January 16, 2016.

Mirta Vranko, Ivančica Bunčić and Martina Marinković are members of the group which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. They invite all those interested in Irish dance to join them during the new Irish Maiden dancing season. “I have been involved in dancing since early childhood, but I have never had such a good feeling as in this dancing group. Everybody works together and we have created friendships which will last for the rest of our lives”, says Mirta Vranko, who joined Irish Maiden four years ago.

f08d745f8cd842c9a7c1bfef2e271930_LPractice sessions and rehearsals which they organize once a week for two hours are a good exercise for them as well, given the fact that Irish dancing is physically a very demanding activity. Martina Marinković, a member since October last year, also points out that she has been won over by the positive energy present within the group, which is mainly the result of O’Grady’s approach. “Family and friends whom I have brought with me to see our performances are ecstatic, and the audiences always send us good vibrations”, says Marinković.

Ivančica Bunčić is one of the “old guard” who have been with Irish Maiden from the very beginnings. “Irish music and pubs are very popular in this country, so it is no wonder that people like the Irish and are interested in their dance”, she adds.This strange connection between Ireland and Croatia is becoming stronger and stronger, given that there is an increasing number of Croats who have lately emigrated to Ireland for economic reasons. However, thanks to one Irishman, Paul O’Grady, who has found his promised land right here in Croatia, Irish culture thrives in Zagreb as well.