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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dancing Through the Alphabet: Letter J

You know that I am Count the Count
because I really like to count.........
Song of the Count, from Sesame Street

This week's dance is Jiana from Transylvania, in Romania. The dance is named after a haidouk (rebel) lanca Jinu.

There are many different versions of this dance; probably named after the town or village where they originated. It is native to a specific region in Transylvania. See below:

JIANA is a small circle dance found in the villages of south Transylvania area around Sibiu and Marginimea Sibiului. This region is known for its pastoral and wealthy shepherd communities in the mountains to the southwest of Sibiu.

Villages: Jina, Poiana, Rod, Tilişca and Galeş, Săcel, Sibiel, Orlat, Gura Râului, Răşinari and along Valea Sadului to include the villages of Sadu, Tălmăcel and Boiţa.

The dance is done in a circle; the costumed dancers in the beginning of the video use a back baskethold. The second group uses a shoulder hold. Shoulder holds are common in Romanian folk dances.



The next video is Jiana de la Tilisca Sibiu. Tilisca is a district of the city Sibiu. Sibiu is known as an attractive tourist destination, It has a very strong Saxon (German) cultural influence and is also known as Hermannstadt.

Many of the videos in the Dancing Through the Alphabet series have been from China because the Chinese have a fascination with Balkan dance.  One person posted "Long live the Chinese-Romanian friendship!" in the comments section. Happy New Year of the Sheep/Goat to all Chinese readers of The Alien Diaries.

Notice how the teachers perform it as a couple dance, and the group around them does it in a circle.



The Dunav group from Jerusalem in Israel specializes in Balkan dances. They perform Jiana de la Jina, a couple dance.



The bonus video of the week is of the Count from Sesame Street, everyone's favorite vampire. He's creepy but he's cool. He's modeled on Count Dracula, the fictional character from Bram Stoker's novel.  The real Dracula, Vlad Tepes, was born in Transylvania and later became the prince of Wallachia. He killed his enemies by impaling them on stakes.



If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Folklore and Pop Culture (again!) Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Count Dracula, Transylvania, Sesame Street, and Cereal

Transylvania: The Land of Count Dracula is a Multicultural Mishmosh

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