Monday, January 9, 2012

Bulgarian Folk Dance Around the World

Elitsa Todorova, Bulgarian pop/folk singer plans to lead 50,000 young people from Bulgaria in the the longest folk dance in the world on June 9th and 10th, in Varna. She hopes this event (Horo 2012) will make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Read more about it here:

*Update from Novinite June 11, 2012: The longest folk dance in the world has been cancelled due to lack of funding. Read more below:

On my forays in the Universe of You Tube, I have found Bulgarian folk dancing in many locations around the world. You don't have to be Bulgarian to dance like one :)

Our journey begins in Kodiak, Alaska, a small town in the United States on an island in the Pacific Ocean. It is known mostly for one of the most fearsome creatures, the Kodiak bear. Before Alaska became a state it belonged to the Russians, who sold the land to the Americans for a bargain basement price. Alaska is sparsely populated, averaging about 1 person per square mile. What's surprising is that even in a remote location like this one, Bulgarian folk dance has made a foothold. About half the population in the state is here :)

There are a number of videos of this Chinese group on YouTube. They describe themselves as a "Bonding Folkdance Class." Here they perform Tervelska Tropanka, a dance from the Dobrudja folklore region.

Do you have a sense déjà vu? If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll recognize this group from Jerusalem, in Israel.

If this is your first time here, check out the Dunav website:

Now we go south of the Equator. Bulgarians have settled in the most remote regions of the globe, and they have a sizable population in Australia. Everywhere they went they brought their culture with them, so they wouldn't get too homesick.

This group, Horo, is from Brisbane and they dance the Shopska Rachenitsa. Horo translates to "chain dance" in English, and as it turns out, this is not the only folk ensemble named after a dance.

At the bottom of the world in a land of ice and snow is the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute. There have been sightings of dancing penguins, this happens to be one of them. If this video looks familiar, you have probably seen the movie Happy Feet.

If you take a look at the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute's website, you'll see more dancing penguins. Rumor has it that the scientists there have been teaching them :)

It's back to the European continent. This ensemble from Silistra, Bulgaria, performs in Spain.

If you enjoyed this you may also like Bulgarian Folk Music Travels Abroad

The national dance of Bulgaria is the rachenitsa. Read more about it here:

There are also ensembles named after folk dances.

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  1. WoW! This is by far my favorite post from the blog universe for 2012 so far!
    It is really nice to see when Bulgarians who live abroad get together to dance horo, but it's even better when you see foreign nationals dance to the Bulgarian folk songs!

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  3. Hi Katley!

    Thnaks a lot for the interesting finds on You Tube! I am glad you have included our group "Horo" in the article - it feels good to be famous :)
    Another really good bulgarian dance group in a far land you might find on You Tube if you are curious is "Bulgarian Roses" in Auckland, New zealand - beautiful costumes and horeography.
    Greetings from Downunder!

  4. Hi, Izabela

    Your group had such great feeling and enthusiasm that I had to write about it :)
    I will check out "Bulgarian Roses" from Auckland, too, since I see they are on YouTube.
    Thanks for stopping by!