The Cultural Artistic Society Moreška
Up until the second World War, Moreška was normally performed once a year on the 29th of July, which is Saint Theodore’s day, the patron Saint of Korčula. This was a very special event, warranting months of preparation. The end of The Second World War gave extra swing and energy to the young Moreška performers resulting in more performances and greater enthusiasm for the dance. The first performance of the young Moreska troop took place at the congress for the Unified League of Anti-fascist Youth of Croatia in Hvar in 1944, following which the older Moreska troop performed at the peace congress in Paris. In 1950 all cultural activities in Korčula, including Moreška performances, were integrated into the Worker’s Cultural Artistic Society of Korčula, which for practical reasons in later years changed its name to Moreška, after its most important and recognisable section. Since then this society has incorporated all cultural associations and organisations in the city, such as the brass band, Saint Cecelia mixed choir and the drama section. After the Yugoslav Sokol (pan-slavic physical education movement) ceased to exist, the society took over the organisation of the Moreska performances too. At the begining of the 90s a number of the society’s members transferred to the newly formed Croatian Musical Association of Saint Cecilia, prompting the society to change its name from the Worker’s Cultural Artistic Society to the Cultural Artistic Society (CAS) Moreška. Today the activities of the CAS are distributed between the Moreška, brass band, mixed choir, two Dalmatian vocal ensembles and a folklore section.
The growth of the tourism industry has strongly influenced the development of the Moreška through its demand for increasingly frequent performances both within Croatia and abroad. Moreška has been performed in most European countries, and in many of them several times. The tours and international festivals are dearly remembered by all members of the society. The Korčulan Moreška must be the most attractive sword dance that can be currently seen in the whole of Europe. Due to the large interest from visitors to Korčula it is performed at least once a week during the tourist season.