Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More Quirky Odd Rhythms in Balkan Dance

I can tell by the way somebody walks if they can dance or not. Just by the rhythm. Bruce Forsyth

Today's post is more of a dance lesson than a math lesson. So don't let the numbers and the odd rhythms scare you. Many people find Balkan dancing intimidating for this reason.

Drăgăcuţa, a graceful and beautiful dance from Romania,is in 3/4 meter..  Most people associate this rhythm with waltz music. (1-2-3-1-2-3).  This is a quick-slow (with the accent on the second beat). It's easy to follow (most of it is walking) but difficult to lead because of the quirky rhythm. 

In Romania, women dance this at weddings to mourn the loss of the bride to the world of the married; in this instance it's an equal opportunity dance, since there are several men in the group.

The next number is five, and this Macedonian dance is Strumicka Petorka (pet is Macedonian for five).  It's has a totally different feel from Pajduško Horo, another dance with a five in the time signature.

I skipped over seven and nine since they have been covered in previous posts (see links at the end).  The next dance is Gankino Horo, a basic kopanitsa from Bulgaria. The rhythm for this is 11/16. (quick-quick-slow-quick quick).

Kopanitsa comes in different "flavors." Bulgarian dances are often named after cities and towns and sometimes regions, for example there is a Pazardzhishka Kopanitsa and a Shopska Kopanitsa. This particular dance is Bistrishka Kopanitsa. As difficulty goes, I would rate this as a 9 on a scale of 10.

Perhaps the people who work at the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute taught these cute little penguins how to dance Bistrishka Kopanitsa.  If the video looks familiar, you have probably seen the movie Happy Feet.

If you enjoyed this you may also like: The Travels of Padjusko Horo

Balkan Folk Dancing and its Relationship to...Math?

Dancing in Sevens, Parts One and Two

If you like the number nine, this post on Daichovo Horo, a Bulgarian folk dance, is for you.

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  1. So enjoy your blog! I learned how to do some of these dances at a workshop but could never remember the name of these!!
    Thanks so much for all the videos, can't wait to share for some of my friends to see!!

  2. Hi, Kelli,

    Thanks for the read and the lovely comment, as well as becoming a fan of The Alien Diaries!