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Friday, August 28, 2015

More Rachenitsa na Horo with a bit of Graovsko

For me dancing is not just moving your arms and legs but basically it's a very spiritual experience. It's part of me and a second nature to me. You can say it is in my blood.
Madhuri Dixit

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about different variations of the Bulgarian folk dance Rachenitsa na Horo.

Rachenitsa is the national dance of Bulgaria and can be done solo, as a couple, or in a group.  The group version, performed in a line, is "na horo."  The time signature (many Bulgarian dances are in odd rhythms) can be either 7/8 or 7/16, depending on the speed of the music.

There are a number of variations of this dance posted on YouTube.  This particular variation of Rachenitsa na Horo is from the Bulgarian region of Thrace. To me this looks like a dance group practicing with the teacher in the front, much like the workshops I've been to in the past.

Rachenitsa is all about getting the arms and hands moving, even when dancing it "na horo", because the origin of the name comes from the Bulgarian word for "hand" or "forearm."  Notice how the woman at the front of the line waves her right arm.  Sometimes the leader twirls a handkerchief.

The dance after the rachenitsa is Graovsko Horo, from the Shope region.  The steps are similar to another Bulgarian dance, Kyustendilska Rachenitsa, except that the rhythm is 2/4 instead of 7/8.



Here's another version of Graovsko, where it is easier to see the feet:



The next video features a spirited Rachenitsa na Horo, also from Thrace. Too bad the video is only a minute and a half long. The dancers are a pleasure to watch. They obviously enjoy what they do. 



If you enjoyed this, you may also like:

Two Variations on a Bulgarian Folk Dance: Rachenitsa na Horo

The "Flavors" of Bulgarian Rachenitsa, Part One and Part Two

You will find rachenitsa and other Bulgarian rhythms in this post:

Orchestra Horo: Modern Bulgarian Folk Songs, Traditional Rhythms 

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