Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In Honor of International Women's Day: Women's Dances from the Balkans

Today, in honor of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, here are several women's dances from the Balkans. In this part of the world, back in the day, dances were often used as the venue for men and women to meet, (and eventually marry) under the watchful eye of the older women.

The first, from Romania, is the very beautiful and graceful Hora Fetelor (Girls' Dance). Since The Alien Diaries is an equal opportunity blog, the dance immediately following is the very masculine Calusari, a springtime dance performed by men wielding sticks.

The next video is of Dobrudjanska Reka, from Bulgaria, also a women's dance, performed by a group in a mall. Notice that a woman is leading it. Nowadays, this too is an equal opportunity dance, even the men are allowed to join the line :)

The third women's dance is Tresenica, from Macedonia.

For some men's dances, click the next link (as I said before this is an equal opportunity blog!)


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  1. ah, "river dance' at its best..Tanec the group from Skopje represents the simplicity of original folk dance and ritualistic continuity. what a superb posting!
    these women don't suffer from bad cholesterol, their Hdl must be elevated.
    what i would appreciate is a full article on the instrumentation behind the physical representation of the music.
    in this piece i hear Arab overtones and Greek influence, much as Armenian and Turkish oud sounds convey.

  2. Thanks for your lovely (and humorous) comment, Nadine!

    Music from the Balkans has a lot of different influences, especially Turkish, Greek, and Arab. The Turkish is the strongest since the Ottomans ruled the Balkans for over 500 years.

    For more "river dance", check out my October post: http://katleyplanetbg.blogspot.com/2010/10/river-of-many-names-part-2-danube-in.html

    There are several posts on musical instruments that I wrote last year on the gaida, accordion, and clarinet as well.

  3. i knew you would provide, i remember reading about the musical content on your posts, i just don't remember the content...facebookitis erases data when unused.
    will watch and listen, ns

  4. Katley,

    You will love this: today, at the folk dancing lessons at the Bulgarian embassy in London,our instructor was... a German lady!
    She is the leader of a Bulgarian dance group in Berlin! She told me how in the 1990s many Bulgarians went to Germany where they spread our culture and taught our traditions. She, together with her husband, became one of the many Germans who were fascinated by Balkan rhythms, and now she teaches the dances to younger Germans.
    They don't have a website yet, but I gave her your blog. I thought you might want to like to get in touch with her because you seem to have a lot in common! Her name is Eveline Krause. The dance group is Tanzkreis "Faux Pas". You can email them at ulf.weigel@t-online.de.

    Great post, btw! :)

  5. thanks so much Zikata for sharing this with your instructor.

    I will email her when I have a few minutes. I've noticed Balkan dancing became popular in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now I know why :) There is a lady from Darmstadt, Birgitt Karlson, who has an excellent website about Balkan and Eastern European folk dancing, it's