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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fun and Easy Folk Dances from Romania

Some years ago I read a book that brought Einstein's theory of relativity down to an eighth grade level. This convinced me that any subject can be made easy. In other words, always beware of anyone who tells you a topic is above you or better left to experts. This person may, for some reason, be trying to shut you out. You CAN understand almost anything.
Richard J. Maybury

Not all Romanian folk dances are fast and difficult with sudden changes of direction and stamps hard enough to put holes in the floor! Contrary to what you've seen and heard, there are relatively slow and easy Romanian dances. Relatively is the key word here. Relativity is a whole other concept.

What's really cool about today's dances is that they include shouts, called "strigaturi."  You can be a kid again and use your "outside voice."

The first is Hora Pe Sase (Hora for Six). I counted the steps, and none of them add up to six.  Notice that one of the figures in this dance resembles the Bulgarian Pravo Horo.

There are definitely more than six people dancing.  So where did the dance get its name?  If you know the answer, please post it in the "comments" section.



The second dance, Hora Pentesteanca is one I can't even pronounce.  Fortunately it is easy to learn by watching the dancers. The steps are mostly grapevines and taps.

Romanian is part of a family of languages based on Latin. There is a Romanian woman who comes to our dances and she taught us how to say some basic greetings.  Despite my familiarity with Spanish, I had difficulty pronouncing the Romanian words.

Modern Romanian, to me, sounds like a combination of Latin and Italian, with an admixture of Slavic words. The first time I heard it on an ethnic radio program, I thought it was a dialect of Italian until the folk music came on. According to Wikipedia, Romanian is 77% similar to Italian.

There are other dialects related to Romanian, including Aromanian , also known as Vlach.



If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The "Flavors" of Romanian Hora

The "Flavors" of Romanian Sirba

The dances of Bulgaria and the Dobrogea region of Romania use similar rhythms.

Crossing the River Part One:  Folk Music From the Romanian Region of Dobrogea

Dancing Across Bulgaria: The Pravo and Regional Folk Dance Styles

If you are interested in some easy folk dances, check out the blog with the same name.

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