Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances are a joyous celebration of his simple background and the richness of Czech peasant culture. The Dances were originally composed for piano duet, but he reworked them at the behest of his publisher into orchestral arrangements which are truly breathtaking. Czech folk songs provide the inspiration for these dances, which coincided with a period of intense nationalistic fervour in Central and Southern Europe. Artists and musicians from the Austro-Hungarian Empire were creating an identity, markedly different from the classical culture of their rulers at this time. The orchestra will be playing dances 7 and 8.