Thursday, April 11, 2013

Two Variations on a Macedonian Folk Dance: Bufcansko

One of my favorite folk dances is Bufcansko, from the Republic of Macedonia. The first variation is the one most commonly performed by recreational folk dance groups. It was one of the first dances I learned in Balkan class many years ago. If you listen closely to the music you can hear the clarinet played in the upper register. Some people consider the clarinet an "instrument of torture", but I happen to like it, and even took lessons many years ago.

The video mentions that the dance is from Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists since it split up into individual republics during the 1990's. Macedonia declared its independence in 1991.

The second video is a performance by a childrens' folk ensemble from Macedonia. Bufcansko is a women's dance (here it's done by a group of girls). They add a bounciness to the dance that is more pronounced than in the previous video, and they are a joy to watch. The instrumentation is different as well, it has a uniquely Macedonian sound in which you can hear the kaval (open-ended flute) the gaida (bagpipe) and the tambura.  The tambura is a string instrument, related to the mandolin. It's also popular in the Pirin region of Bulgaria, which shares a border with Macedonia.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The Bagpipe in Macedonian Folk Music

The Tambura in Bulgarian, Macedonian and Croatian Folk Music

Two Variations on a Romanian Folk Dance, Hora de Mina

Two Variations on a Bulgarian folk dance, Opas

You can also listen to music from two former Yugoslav republics here:

The River of Many Names, Part 5: The Danube in Serbian Folk Music

The River of Many Names, Part 6: The Danube in Croatian Folk Songs

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