Saturday, April 5, 2014

Take a Ride on the Orijent Express

Who knows who will be on board? A couple of spies, for sure. At least one grand duke; a few beautiful woman, no doubt very rich and very troubled. Anything can happen and usually does on the Orient Express.
Morley Safer

Today's featured dances are Orijent and Ciganski Orijent  from Serbia.

Orijent is one of the first dances I learned. There is one part of the dance in which my dance instructor described as "scraping shit off your shoe,"which is something peasants often did when dancing in the fields.

Back in the old days, animal droppings were the only "land mines" dancers had to worry about. In the country that used to be Yugoslavia, there are many places that have live land mines. The areas are marked off with warning signs.

Fortunately, there was no "land mine" danger for these dancers.

Ciganski Orijent  most likely originated as a Gypsy (Roma) dance.  The music sounds like a train and was inspired by the Orient Express, a luxury train that took passengers from Paris to Istanbul. The Simplon route passed through Serbia and there was a stop in Belgrade, the White City and capital of Serbia.

The Orient Express inspired Agatha Christie's novel Murder on the Orient Express, and there was also a movie based on the book.

Some of the steps are similar to Orijent in the previous video.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Stamp It Out: Vlach Dances From Serbia

The "Flavors" of Serbian Cacak

Two Variations on a Serbian Folk Dance: Stara Vlajna

Don't forget to check out the newest post on my other blog: Light and Shadow, especially if you like cats.

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