Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stamp it Out....Vlach Dances from Serbia

"Their way of Dancing, is nothing but a sort of stamping Motion, much like the treading upon Founders Bellows."
John Lawson

I don't know what kind of dancing John Lawson was referring to, but he could have been referring to the Vlachs.

The Vlachs also known as Wallachians, had wandering ways and settled all over the Balkans. They were most likely descendents of the Romans, a Latin-speaking ethnic group. The Roman influence lives on in the country of Romania, whose language is based primarily on Latin. The word "Vlach" is a Germanization of "Wallachian", from "Wlaha" which means foreigner or stranger. Wallachia is located in what is now southern Romania (the provinces of Oltenia and Muntenia).

Today's post will feature Vlach dances from Serbia. They are very lively and have lots of stamping, a good way to get out your frustrations on bad days. And the music will lift your spirits, too.

Speaking of spirits, stamping while dancing was supposed to drive away evil spirits.

The first group, Dunav, from Calgary in the province of Alberta, Canada performs a medley of Vlach dances.

Gaida (bagpipe) music is popular in Serbia, although they prefer the accordion. Instruments of torture seem to vary by country. The Macedonians and Bulgarians like the gaida, the Romanians the panpipe, and the Greeks the bouzouki.

This video looks like an promotion for a piper named Bulgjigič Tomaslav. He has dancers and musicians here as a backup to make sure you know his music is good. (By the way you can't dance if the music is no good!) If you want to call him, let's say to play for your next party, his phone number is on the video, although if you lived far away, let's say, in North America, it would get rather expensive to pay for him and his group to travel across the Pond :)

His speciality is Vlach melodies and circle dances (the plural of kolo is kola). The backdrop is the Iron Gate gorge, along the Danube, River of Many Names. Here we go with that Dunav thing again....

Now it's time for another Dunav group, this time from Israel. The dance is Vlaško Serbsko.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:
The River of Many Names Part 3: Folk Ensembles Named Dunav

The bagpipe (gaida) can be used as an instrument of torture. The same can also be said about the clarinet. Follow these links and find out why.

A Jamaican proverb takes on a life of its own in Those Who Can't Dance Say the Music is no Good.

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  1. I love the sound of the clarinet better than the sound of bagpipes. The Irish Uilleann pipes can be beautiful too. (can't resist a plug!)

    This guy did some of the music for Titanic.

    I used to listen to this in the car - when I had one... lol. :)


    The link didn't catch so here it is again. :)

  3. Thanks, Fiona for stopping by...will check the link out!