Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Two Variations on a Bulgarian Folk Dance: Kraj Dunavsko Horo

You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way. Marvin Minsky

During the years I have spent folk dancing, I have found there are as many variations as there are "villages." As a matter of fact, at dance we have this saying "He comes from a different village."  All this means is that their group performs a dance in a different way than we do.  Choreography is one of those things where there's plenty of room for improvisation.

Today's post features two variations of a dance from Northwestern Bulgaria. The name is Kraj Dunavsko Horo.  Translated into English, this means dance from the Danube region.  By the way it's a totally different dance than Dunavsko Horo. You will find a link to a post about it at bottom of this page.

Version one is the one popular with folk dance groups in the United States (and Israel, where this group is from).  If you are a regular visitor to The Alien Diaries, you will recognize them.

Version two is a crazy aerobic exercise routine performed with lots of exuberance by the Hungarian group Mydros.  The music and the steps are different from version one. It's fun to watch and they are having a good time.  I had trouble keeping up with them!

At the very end, the accordionist plays a musical allusion: Shave and A Haircut, Two Bits.

Mydros describes their group as a Greek band from Hungary. They have a website as well as a YouTube channel. On the site, there is an English translation button, which is not easy to find. Most of their videos are of Greek folk songs (with subtitles). If you read Greek, you can sing along :)

If you enjoyed this, you may also like:

Two variations on a Bulgarian Folk Dance: Opas

Variations on a Vlashko Theme (a very popular dance from Northwestern Bulgaria)

Variations on a Theme by Diko Iliev: Dunavsko Horo

Allusions in Balkan Folk Music

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  1. Nice Work Katley:

    So you've found some interesting "variations" on Krajdunavsko. I've seen at least two other versions and I may have a video of one of them. If I can locate it, I'll upload this to YouTube and send you the link...

    How about featuring the contrasting versions of the Turkish Dance Esmer? Esmer is a Turkish song and dance from Dyarbakir in South eastern Turkey, Danced in short lines with arms in a close V hold ... Translation: Brunette

    Same dance - but one version starts on the R ft and the other version starts on the L ft. I've seen Turks do this dance with the Left, but...

    This version is done by a group in Turkey and begins (interestingly) on the Left Foot: (Demo & Instructional Video by Steve Kotansky)

    This version by begins (interestingly) on the Right Foot:

    There is another version taught by Ercement Kilic for which I have notes, but this is different.

    There is yet another version (different steps) that I learned from someone who leaned it in Florida and I'm trying to trace its origin - the musical arrangement is different, but the song is still Esmer.

    More later...

    Paul Collins -

  2. Paul, thanks so much for your comment and for stopping by! BTW I love your website and visit it periodically. If I'm ever in the Chicago area, I will definitely try to make it to one of the Friday night dances. Right now I live too far away (East Coast).

    I have been doing a series on same name, different dance, and there will be another post on this topic later this year.

    I'm going to check out the Esmer links that you sent. I had already looked at the Dunav one and I think I've done that dance before. Interesting that "esmer" means "brunette" (I am one).

    Glad you enjoyed this post. Comments are always welcome :)