LADO, the National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia , was founded in 1949 in Zagreb as a professional national ensemble, with the aim of researching, artistically interpreting and presenting on stage the most beautiful examples of the rich traditions of Croatian music and dance. The ensemble's 37 brilliant dancers, who are also excellent singers, can easily transform this folk dance ensemble into an impressive folk choir, while its 15 superb musicians play some fifty different traditional and classical instruments. In its repertoire, which consists of more than a hundred different choreographies and several hundred vocal, instrumental and vocal-instrumental numbers.
LADO, an archaic Slavic word, is a synonym for good, kind and nice, and is frequently used as a refrain in ancient ritual songs of north-western Croatia.
LADO represents the rich and diverse regional musical and choreographic traditions of Croatia, which is geographically situated at a crossroad of Europe in which the Mediterranean Balkan, Pannonian and Alpine influences are found in the dances, music and costumes.
LADO is often called a "Dancing Museum" because of priceless and beautiful authentic national costumes (more than 1,200 costumes) some of which are 100 years old. The ensemble also presents new, contemporary musical and choreographic works based on traditional motifs and elements.