Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Travels of Pajduško Horo

Pajduško horo is a dance very popular throughout the Balkans, and it was one of the first that I learned many years ago. It's a dance that's gotten around and in this post, it visits four different countries. The rhythm stays the same, but the music and the choreography change. And as you will see, it's quite an aerobic workout.

Music in the Balkans, especially in Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Greece, and to a lesser extent, Romania, is characterized by assymetrical rhythms. An easier way to describe this would be odd numbers in the time signature.

The Pajduško has a time signature of 5/8. What this means is that there are five beats in each measure and the eighth note gets the beat. It actually sounds like the rhythm of a heartbeat: quick-slow, quick-slow, quick-slow. Sometimes it's called the "limping dance" or the "drunken dance," the latter probably being the effects of imbibing too much rakia.

If music theory is Greek to you, don't worry. Here are several videos from the Universe of YouTube. First is a Pajduško from Bulgaria:

And here's the Macedonian take on the dance, similar to the Bulgarian version in the previous video:

This Pajduško is from Greece:

When Pajduško travels to Romania, the footwork gets fancier and faster. The quick-slow beat is still there, though. This is an international folk dance group from the United States.

For more on Pajduško, click here:

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  1. We LOVE Pajdushko or Pajdusko Horo or Baituska or Baituskino...!!! Kindest regards from Vienna Monika