Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why We Like to Dance: Informal Folk Dance Groups from Around the World

I like to think dance is an international language that all people can appreciate. Paul Taylor

Today's post will feature popular Balkan folk dances performed by informal groups from around the world. Folk dancing is lots of fun and has numerous benefits: you make new friends, it activates new pathways in the brain and it provides plenty of aerobic exercise. Nothing like spending an evening of getting high on endorphins!

The first group is from the United States, KoloKoalition. They have many videos posted on the Universe of YouTube; their specialty is intermediate and advanced line dances from the Balkans. This cute little number is Prekid Kolo from Serbia accompanied by live music. Dancing to live music can be a little tricky, since the musicians will play something slightly different than the recordings.

You will recognize this "Bonding Folkdance Class" from China, especially if you read The Alien Diaries regularly. This dance is Berovka, from the Republic of Macedonia.

The Dunav group from Israel has been featured on this blog numerous times. Joc Batrinesc, a graceful dance from Romania, is popular with my dance group, as well. We do it almost every week.

Vienna may be the land of the waltz, but once in a while they'll try something different, like this dance from Bulgaria, Sadi Moma. The Tanzgruppe Bäckerstrasse also has a social networking site for dancers, Dancilla, which is bilingual (German/English). It features a wide variety of dances from all over the world. If you like folk dances from Germany and Austria, they're the place to visit.

Balkan music has its fans in Canada. The Burnaby International Folk Dancers of Burnaby, British Columbia do a dance from Albania, Valle e Dardhes.

The Always on Sunday Group dances in Wethersfield, Connecticut, and I go to their dances from time to time because I love their live music events. This video features Kabile, a band from the Thracian region of Bulgaria. I recorded a few numbers from that evening, the rest of the night I spent dancing.

I don't know the name of this piece, but the dance to it is a lesnoto, and it's some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard on this planet.

If you enjoyed this you may also like Folk Ensembles Named After Dances

Bulgarian Folk Dance Around the World:

A One of a Kind Club for Folk Dancers:

On Ethnic Dance and Exercise
(why it's good to get off the couch and away from that TV)

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