“Variety's the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour.”
What I find discouraging sometimes during the Friday and Sunday night dances is that most people request the same dances week after week. What's lacking sometimes is variety in the repertoire. That can be due to a number of factors: aging dancers (it is difficult to do certain dances if you have arthritis in the knees or hips); people leaving the group for whatever reason (relocations, graduations or retirement) and the dance gets lost when that person leaves. If you don't use it, you lose it and many dances are forgotten simply by not practicing.
Oftentimes leaders of dance groups bring home new dances from workshops. Some of them "take" and some of them don't.
Here is an example of a dance that was taught to the Sunday night group a number of years ago. I hope to revive it when I get proficient enough to teach it. It "fell through the cracks" and although it's on the master list, no one has requested it in years.
Video #1 is Celebinkso Horo from Bulgaria, Trakia region. It's not difficult; the trickiest part is the rhythm which is in 9/8. The Daichovo and the Devetorka are also in nine, but Celebinsko Horo has the accent on beat two. Daichovo has the accent on the first beat, and Devetorka on beat four.
You can sing along to this as well, the lyrics are on the bottom of the screen. I couldn't find a translation.
Video #2 is of a really challenging dance I found on YouTube recently, Gergebunarsko Horo. I couldn't find notes for it anywhere. Fortunately a lady named Sonia Efron posted this dance because she had an interest in its preservation. Unfortunately, many dancers have aged and would probably have a problem with the steps, which are intricate, fast, and athletic.That is why we need more young people to come to folk dances!
At the beginning of the video, there's a performance with George, Sonia and Jeff, then an explanation and a teach by Sonia, and then the actual dance. By the way, this is one of the many variations of Pravo Horo.
Video #3 is Izruchana. I don't recall ever doing this at a dance group or a workshop, but it's popular on YouTube. There are a number of versions of this dance that can be found there with North Americans, Israelis, Bulgarians, and Chinese performing it. Somehow our group never "got the memo." I would classify it as moderately difficult.
Izruchana is a Vlach dance from Northwestern Bulgaria.
If you enjoyed this you may also like:
Dancing Through the Alphabet, Letter I (Chinese performance of Izruchana)
The Aging of the Folk Dance Population
Dancing Across Bulgaria: The Pravo and Regional Folk Dance Styles
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