Follow by Email

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Balkan Dances that are Often Confused Part Six: Chetvorno and Chetvorka

Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.
Henry Miller

Confusion reigns again in Balkan Dance World. This week's dances, from Bulgaria, are Chetvorno and Chetvorka.

Chetvorno, a dance from the Shope regionis the more popular of the two and there are several variations.  Video #1 is "Shopping Mall Chetvorno."



Video #2 is a more complicated version of Chetvorno with multiple figures. The group is Balkanitsa from Haifa, Israel.



Video #3 dance #1 is a Chetvorka from the town of Petrich, in southwestern Bulgaria.  The other two dances are Graovsko Horo (at 2:59) and Kystendilsko Horo  (at 4:02)  The person who posted the video mistakenly called the second dance Kyustendilska Rachenitsa.  It is essentially the same dance as Graovsko, but in 2/4.

Are you confused yet?

The singer is Nikolina Chakardakova, who performs modern folk songs from the Pirin region.



Video #4 is another example of Chetvorka. The group is Leb i Vino (Bread and Wine), who pride themselves on authentic folklore from the Pirin region. The musicians play two zurnas and a tupan.



The zurna is an instrument very popular in Turkish and Middle Eastern music.  The people of the Pirin region often use it in their folk music. It was introduced to Bulgaria via the Ottoman Turks, who ruled Bulgaria for nearly 500 years,.

Leb i Vino's web site is currently under construction, but you can read about them in one of the posts below.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Leb i Vino: Traditional Music from the Pirin Region of Bulgaria

Three Variations on a Bulgarian Folk Dance: Chetvorno Horo

The Clones of Chetorno Horo

Dances that are often confused:

Part One: Cacak and Cocek
Part Two: Lesnoto and Lesnoto Oro
Part Three: Vrapceto and Kopcheto
Part Four: Bavno and Ravno
Part Five: Djurdevka and Djurdevica

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Balkan Dances that Are Often Confused Part Five: Djurdjevka and Djurdevica

Don't be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.
George Saunders

Today's post features two Serbian folk dances that have similar sounding names and are easily confused. This seems to be a very common thing in Balkan dance. We mix up the names, we mix up the steps.....

Video #1 is of Djurdjevka from the region of Sumadija.  The Dunav group from Jerusalem in Israel has a website with videos, lyrics and notes. It is one of the best resources for Balkan dance on the Internet.

There are subtitles for the lyrics so you can sing along :)



It is also dance #3 in the Serbian Medley (see below): at 3:08, The dances in this medley are, in order: Poskok, Ti Momo, Djurdevka, Igrale Se Delije, and Cacak.



Video #3 is of Djurdjevica, a totally different dance, and a little faster than the previous one. It's the perfect party dance.  The IFDO (International Folk Dancers of Ottawa) is the group featured here, at their Christmas party in 2010.

The steps go perfectly with the music.  One of them reminds me of a stalking cat.



If you enjoyed this you may also like the previous posts about Balkan dances that are often confused.

Part One: Cacak and Cocek
Part Two: Lesnoto and Lesnoto Oro
Part Three: Vrapceto and Kopcheto
Part Four: Bavno and Ravno

If you have an interest in names that are confusing, check out some drug names on the Web. Medication errors can sometimes be fatal.

List of Confused Drug Names

It's even worse when you give similar sounding names to your kids and pets.

Don't Give Your Kids and Your Pets Similar Sounding Names

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Variations on the Bulgarian Folk Dance: Povlekana

I love those connections that make this big old world feel like a little village.
Gina Bellman

Every time I dance with a different group,  it feels like stepping into another village because they do some of their dances differently than my "home" group.  The "different village" concept is very common in the world of folk dancing.

Today's excursion into the world of Bulgarian folk dance features variations of Povlekana, a rachenitsa from the region of Dobrudja.

Rachenitsa has many variations and is the national dance of Bulgaria. It can be fast or slow and follows this rhythm: apple-apple-pineapple (7/8 or 7/16 depending on the speed).

Video #1 is the version that is most popular. It's performed by dancers in elaborate embroidered costumes from the Dobrudja region: the women wear distinctive yellow headscarves. This was part of a dance competition and the ensemble received excellent marks, mostly 9's and one 10.



Video #2 shows a group from Bulgaria at another dance competition performing Povlekana to different music.  This is part of a medley with the dance Kutsata (starting at about 1:20).   Their black and orange uniforms remind me of Halloween.



Video #3 is another version of Povlekana, performed by an American group in California.  It has different music and different steps.  There is a short review of the dance at the beginning.of the video. This variation is similar to another dance from Dobrudja, Sej Bop (not to be confused with the more familiar Sej Sej Bop).



If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Balkan Dances That Are Often Confused


Two Variations on the Bulgarian Folk Dance: Opas

Bulgarian Folk Dances from the Region of Dobrudja

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.