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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dancing Through the Alphabet, Letter G: Ginka

The dance of the week is Ginka, from the southwest (Pirin) region of Bulgaria.


For some reason Ginka is more popular in Bulgaria than it is in the Western Hemisphere, although I found the notes for it on an American folk dance camp website.  It's done to a different song, Mitro le Mitro.

The first video features dancers in elaborate embroidered costumes and they are from the Philip Kutev ensemble. You can find this dance and many more on the website horo.bg  which has videos of dances from all the folklore regions of Bulgaria.Click on the English flag on the upper right hand corner of the website if you're Cyrillically challenged :)

If you're familiar with the song Dobra Nevesto, you'll hear a bit of it at the end (minus the singing).  The rhythm is 7/8 (pineapple-apple-apple).



Ginka #2 is from a Bulgarian dance class; same dance with modern music.



This week's bonus is some gaida (bagpipe) music, since gaida beings with the letter G.  The Chinese New Year starts on February 19th.  It will be the year of the sheep (or the goat, depending on which Chinese Zodiac sign you prefer.)  Both animals share two things in common: they chew their cud and are made into Eastern European bagpipes in the Afterlife.

Someone at the Uncyclopedia got really creative with this gaidasheep. If you enjoy satire, check out a few of their articles.



A man from Macedonia who lives in Australia makes bagpipes from the bodies of goats, including the heads. He sells them over the Internet. They are a one-of-a kind product, although some people might be uneasy listening to dance tunes coming from dead goats.

I don't being reincarnated as a gaida is a bad thing. This goat can be happy in the knowledge is that he's creating beautiful music (with the help of Risto Todoroski) for the world to enjoy.

The tune is Pajduško, a dance very popular in Macedonia and Bulgaria.



If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Bulgarian Folk Songs Reincarnated

Modern Versions of Traditional Bulgarian Folk Songs: Part One and Part Two

The Bagpipe in Macedonian Folk Music

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dancing Through the Alphabet Letter F

Friday. The golden child of the weekdays.  The superhero of the workweek.  The welcome wagon to the weekend.  The famous F word we thank God for every week.
source unknown

Fridays are usually dance nights for me, and I am always thankful for them at the end of a hard week.  I bet you thought I was going to mention the other F-Word, which you can find on Wikipedia. They have written extensively about it,.  You can satisfy your curiosity about its etymology, and how it can be used as a noun, adjective or adverb. The F-Word is an extremely versatile as well as colorful part of speech.

This week's dance begins with the letter F, although it hardly can be called the F-Word. It's Fatise Kolo , a dance from from the town of  Vranje in Serbia.  It is one of those odd rhythm things; the time signature is 9/8 (quick-slow-quick-quick). You can find the lyrics and translation here

I don't know who sings this piece, but it's beautifully done and reminds me of classical music. It's amazing how many musicians have used this song on YouTube. It is a Serbian classic.



This week's added bonus is for one of my readers who likes videos of scantily clad women.  It's a different Fatise Kolo, from Niš, a spa town in Serbia.  In spa towns there are swimming pools, and that is the place where you find the bikini girls.

The music isn't bad, either. It is in 7/8 lesnoto rhythm, and very danceable.



If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The "Flavors" of Serbian Kolo

Classical Composers Ispired by Balkan Folk Music

Dancing in Sevens: Part One and Part Two

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dancing Through the Alphabet, Letter E

This week's dance is Edno Ime Imame (rough translation "We Have One Name") from Macedonia. It is one I had never heard of until I did a search for Balkan dances that begin with the letter "E." The teacher in the video is Ira Weisburd, whose specialty is Israeli dance, although you'll find him teaching several Balkan dances on YouTube.

Ira is a pleasure to watch; he performs the dance fluidly and effortlessly. This is a dance I would like to learn, although I don't know if either of the groups I frequent has the music. My guess is that this is a very old recording and may be difficult to find.

The rhythm for this is lesnoto (7/8 time signature) galloping-apple-apple, very popular in the Pirin (southwest) region of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia.



Even though this dance doesn't begin with the letter E, many of us know it as the "E" dance. When you hear the chorus you'll understand why.  The music is the Bulgarian folk song U Nasheto Selo (In Our Village), and sounds really strange, like a record played a little too fast.



Those who were born after 1985 probably aren't too familiar with those  big, plastic disks called records unless their parents or grandparents had collections gathering dust somewhere in the basement. They were cumbersome devices played on a turntable and the needle moving on the grooves produced the sounds. We've come a long way from music on 12" disks to music on a device that can be used as a phone, camera, and music player.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Dancing in Sevens

Balkan Folk Dancing and its Relationship to Math

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dancing Through the Alphabet Letter D:

BIG D, little d, what begins with D?
David Donald Doo dreamed a dozen doughnuts and a duck-dog, too. 

Dr. Seuss

This week's dance is Dedo Mili Dedo from the Republic of Macedonia.

The lyrics describe a pair of grandparents going about about their work and life, who are still very much in love. Regular readers will recognize this "Bonding Folk Dance Class" from China.  They have many  videos posted on YouTube (Israeli and International as well as Balkan).  It's fascinating to watch the Chinese perspective on Balkan dancing.  The teacher has a very commanding presence.

Does anyone hear him say "jump up" at the end? At least that's what it sounds like, but I don't understand a word of Chinese.



Here's another version of the song, also know as Dedo Mili Zlatni. You can see a dramatization of it below, along with dancers in elaborate embroidered costumes.



If you ennjoyed this you may also like:

The "Flavors" of Macedonian Oro

Something that may be of interest, especially since the folk dance community seems to be getting older by the day:

Who Will Fill Their Shoes?  The Aging of the Folk Dance Community

Last week's post featured a Grandfather's Kolo:

Dancing Through the Alphabet Letter C:


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.