Thursday, September 27, 2012

Deep, Dark Secrets (or things my daughters don't want their friends to know about)

There is a deep, dark, secret that my daughters don't want broadcast around their friends, and they don't want the neighbors to know, either.

They know I go to poetry workshops, and sometimes read at Open Mikes. At the end of this post you will find a link to one of my poems. There a number of poets I admire, like Langston Hughes, Hristo Botev (poet laureate of Bulgaria!) and Ogden Nash. Not to mention my daughters, who write some damned good stuff, and my poet friends on Facebook.

It's not the Zumba classes that I go to on Tuesday nights, although there have been a few times I've been tempted to ask the Zumba instructor to incoporate some Balkan music into our workouts. My youngest daughter, who goes to class with me, always manages to change the subject before I even say the "B" word...

Zumba keeps me in shape for Friday Night Rachenitsa. I danced this one last week and I was quite winded when the music ended, so obviously I need to exercise more, but then this is quite fast.

The big, bad secret is that I dance to folk music from Bulgaria. Only two of my daughters' friends know anything about Bulgaria.One is a musician, and the other an artist. The artist has an interest in folk costumes.

God forbid everyone else should know. Bulgarian folk dancing is too damned strange and the music we dance to is even weirder. The rhythms are downright crazy, who can move to this stuff? My girls think Bulgarians in folk costumes are aliens in disguise getting ready to take over the world. And that is what they fear most.

If you want to see some "aliens" singing and dancing check this out :) And they can take over the world anytime, IMHO. It would probably be a much better place.

Finally, there are a couple of poems about Bulgarian music and dance (yes, there are people who actually write about that stuff!)

The first one I wrote back in 2009. It's called The Sanctuary Within.

The second is by Bill Holm, who passed on three years ago. He was a native of the state of Minnesota; he was a poet, essayist, and musician. I had never heard of him until this poem was sent to me by a friend who emails me periodically about dance events in the area.

Advice (by Bill Holm)

Someone dancing inside us
has learned only a few steps:
the "Do-Your-Work" in 4/4 time,
the "What-Do-You-Expect" Waltz.
He hasn't noticed yet the woman
standing away from the lamp.
the one with black eyes
who knows the rumba.
and strange steps in jumpy rhythms
from the mountains of Bulgaria.
If they dance together,
something unexpected will happen;
if they don't, the next world
will be a lot like this one.

If you want to see a performance of it on YouTube, check this out:

So, if you haven't tried Bulgarian folk dancing yet, maybe now is the time to give it a go. You need to get out and exercise, right?

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Hristo Botev, Poet and Revolutionary (some amazing but very sad and graphic Bulgarian revolutionary poetry in English translation plus music!)

On Ethnic Dance and Exercise (much more fun than the gym!)

What is rachenitsa? Find out here:

This is where an acronym will take you while doing Google searches (a post by a fellow blogger about Hristo Botev)

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