Monday, November 15, 2010

A Dance by Any Other Name...

Today's topic is a dance by any other name.

Many Balkan dance names originate from a town or region, such as the Macedonian dance Bansko (named after a town), or Eleno Mome from Bulgaria (named after a person). The Greek Hasapiko is a butcher's dance and has counterparts in Macedonia and Bulgaria where it's called Kasapsko. There's even a Serbian dance named after the Orient Express, the train that once traveled through central Serbia in its heyday, on its way to Istanbul. By the way this one is very popular in the United States, and was one of the first dances I learned :)

The following dances have not been given a name aside from the generic term "folk dance." Here are three examples from three different Balkan countries.

The first one, Narodno Horo, is from Bulgaria. There are several dances combined here; Dunavsko Horo and Chichovo Horo. There's a third one in here, but I don't know the name, so I call it the swishy-swishy grapevine dance.

The Macedonians, not to be outdone, have their own version, Narodno Oro. This performance is by a group on California. A Macedonian who saw this on the Universe of YouTube commented he was delighted to see Americans dancing to Macedonian music, however, he mentioned that they do it somewhat differently at home.

Narodno Kolo is the Serbian version. Kolo means wheel or circle in Serbian. It's a bunch of people dancing in a circle. Notice the large display ad for a brand of bottled water and the number of women wearing high heels and pointy shoes. With all the jiggling of a certain part of the female anatomy, the marketing of sports bras instead of bottled water in hourglass shaped bottles might be a better choice. Or could it be that Moja Voda has the side effect of enlarging a woman's mammary glands? Sure looks like it here.

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