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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dancing Through the Alphabet Letter X:

Music is very spiritual, it has the power to bring people together.
Edgar Winter

I couldn't find any Balkan dances for this week's post that begin with the letter "X" (although I did find a song from Albania with the totally unpronounceable name of  Xhimixhi) The name is a real tongue twister. 

Today's theme will be traditional and modern versions of a Bulgarian folk song from the Rhodope region of Bulgaria:  Sabrali sa se Sabrali.  Judging from what I've seen on the Universe of YouTube, it is quite popular.

Version one is the one we dance to, the beautiful traditional version performed by the Rhodopea Kaba Trio. The song is about three young women who fall asleep under a tree. They each wake up to find something missing: a necklace, a belt, and an apron. Someone has been engaging in petty theft under the stars.



Version two features a modern Sabrali performed by the singer Neli Andreeva and a group of dancers from the Bulgarian TV show Ide Nashenskata Muzika  (here comes our music). The Bulgarian National Television uploads a new show online each week, which features folk artists from past and present.



Version three is performed by Rositsa Peycheva, this time featuring dancers in traditional Bulgarian elaborate embroidered costumes with some beautiful scenery in the background. The large bagpipe is a kaba gaida, native to the Rhodope region.



The bonus video is of a band from Western Massachusetts whose specialty is music from the Balkans.  Their name begins with the letter "X" and they and their fans pronounce it zo-po. The group is Xopo and to make things even more confusing, "X" in Bulgarian is pronounced like our letter "H." Xopo is the Bulgarian word for "horo." 

The video was taken at a party in Wethersfield, Connecticut and the dance is a tropanka from the Bulgarian region of Dobrudja.



If you enjoyed this you may also like:

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

Nusha, A Family Music Project With Neli Andreeva and her Daughters

Folk Ensembles Named Horo

Several years ago I wrote a post about Nestinari (fire dancers) who dance on hot coals for the feast day of Saints Constantine and Helen.  Their feast day falls on May 21. There is also a MythBusters video that explains the science of walking on hot coals.

Fire Walking: Myth or Magic?

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