Zaplet (L*)(Hopa cupa skoči) – Serbia, Croatia,

*A Living dance is a 1st Generation dance that is still performed in the country of origin (or immigrant communities) as part of a social event like a wedding where others can participate (not for an audience) by people who learned the dance informally (from friends and relatives by observation and imitation, not in a classroom situation). For more information, click here and here.

There’s a dance known in Serbia, Croatia, and by Serbs and Croats in Hungary and the USA. All use the same melody and very similar footwork, but quite different names. USA Immigrants and Recreational folk dancers know the dance as Zaplet. In the “Old Country” the dance is known by the name of its song – variously spelled as Opa Cupa, Hopa Cupa, Hoppá Cuppá, Hopa cupa skoči, or, most commonly, Opa cupa Skoči. To confuse matters further, the same melody is used for a nursery rhyme – Kruška, jabuka, šljiva, and that phrase is also used in lyrics for Hopa cupa Skoči. Below is an old (1950’s?) film of the dance.

From Šumadija, central Serbia.

Here’s one version of the lyrics (there are MANY!) The guys above sing the 1st verse only.

Hopa cupa skoči, da ti vidim oči,
da ti vidim očice, garava djevojčice.

Kruška, jabuka, šljiva, Mene voli Iva,
A ja Ivu neću, Za drugim umrijet ću.

Sjeno slama, lipa, Mene voli Stipa,
A ja Stipu neću, Za drugim umrijet ću.

Hopa, girl, jump, to see your eyes,
Let me see your eyebrows, dark-haired (or -skinned) dear girl.

Pear, apple, plum, Iva (John) loves me.
But I don’t want him, I would die for another.

The shade of straw, Stipa loves me,
But I don’t want him, I would die for another.

The musicians below sing all 3 verses (eventually).

Kids in Bećari (Serbian: Бећари), a village in the municipality of Sokolac, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I was unable to find any current YouTubes of adults in Serbia, Croatia, or Bosnia dancing Opa cupa skoči. Children are another matter.

Hopa cupa skoči for children

By KUD Okarina, Rakovica, Croatia. Hopa cupa is danced the first minute only.

This event was held on 3 July 2011 in Mihajlovac, near Smederevo, Serbia, by KUD MIHAJLOVAC Hopa cupa lasts until 1:35 only. 
Smederevo (in red)

And here’s the children’s song

Lyrics, with Google translation

I did find this YouTube of adults dancing Hopa cupa, apparently made in Budapest, Hungary.

Serbian dances, music performed by Kolo Orchestra (Tököl, Hungary)

Then there’s this band, operating in the Baranya County area of Hungary, near the Croatian border.

Same band, doing a medley of Slavic dances. Hoppá Cuppá (as they spell it in Hungary) is from 27:24 – 28.17.

Turns out Baranya, a region in both Hungary and Croatia, has a lot of Croatians (and a few Serbs).

Baranya in Croatia is part of the region known as Slavonia. For an explanation of why there are two Baranya’s, and how both have so many Croatians (and Hungarians), see
Here’s a Hungarian version of the melody.

Meanwhile in the USA, the dance known as Zaplet has been taught many times, beginning with John Filcich in 1953. John made a video of Zaplet as he saw it performed by Croatian and Serbian immigrants in the USA in the 1930’s – 1950’s. His video can be seen here by scrolling down the list of dances until you get to Zaplet. Other teachers include Dennis Boxell, Ricky Holden, and Dick Crum, each of whom taught many slightly different versions. All have essentially the same 3 step-hops, followed by 3 of something else.

Hopa Hopa, a version of Zaplet from Slavonia

Ron Houston, in his 1999 Folk Dance Problem Solver, records a Zaplet variation. Below is a dance Dick Crum documented in 1974, as performed by the Fausts. Crum called it Hopa Hopa, after the first line of the lyrics (same melody).
Here are the lyrics:
Hopa, hopa, hopa, proclava se gropa a naśega popa, curo garava!
Hopa, hopa, hopa, cura voli popa, ja bi kapelana, al' mi neda mama!
Hopa, hopa, hopa, na tavenu klopa, u podrumu vino, al' se biti fino!
Hopa, curo, skoči, da ti vidim oči, da ti vidim očice, garava djevojčice!
Hopa, hopa, hopa, cura voli popa, a ja popadiju, i-ji, i-ju-ju!

Hopa, hopa, hopa, bloomed has our snowball bush
at our priest's house, dark-haird girl!
Hopa, hopa, hopa, a girl loves the priest;
I, the assistant priest, but my mother forbids me!
Hopa, hopa, hopa, in the loft are eats,
In the cellar is wine, and it will be a fine time!
Hopa, girl, hop, to see your eyes,
to see your dear little eyes, dark-haired dear littl girl!
Hopa, hopa, hopa, a girl loves the priest;
I, the priest's wife, ee-you, ee-you-you!

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