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Following the nationalist example of Bedrich Smetana, Dvorak frequently employed features of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia (then parts of the Austrian Empire and now constituting the Czech Republic). Dvorak's own style has been described as 'the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them'.
The Slavonic Dances (Czech: Slovanske tance) are a series of 16 orchestral pieces composed by Antonin Dvorak in 1878 and 1886 and published in two sets as Opus 46 and Opus 72 respectively. Originally written for piano four hands, the Slavonic Dances were inspired by Johannes Brahms's own Hungarian Dances and were orchestrated at the request of Dvorak's publisher soon after composition. The pieces, lively and overtly nationalistic, were well received at the time and today are among the composer's most memorable works.
The types of dances upon which Dvorak based his music include the furiant, the dumka, the polka, the sousedska, the skocna, the mazurka, the odzemek, the spacirka, the kolo and the polonaise.