Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dancing Through the Alphabet: Letter I

This week The Alien Diaries has reached its 250th post and will go into its 6th year!

The I's have it, since today's dances begin with the letter "I".

The first is Izruchana, a moderately difficult Vlach dance from northwestern Bulgaria.  Vlach dances have much in common with those from southern Romania.  They are fast and accented with stamps and shouts.

In case you're wondering who the Vlachs are, they are people of Romanian ancestry who live outside Romania.  Many of them were sheep herders and wandered from place to place to find good pastures. There are Vlach villages on the Bulgarian side of the Danube, River of Many Names.

This group of dancers is from Hong Kong. For some reason the Chinese love Balkan music and there are many Chinese folk dance videos on YouTube.I have also met a number of Chinese people at my folk dance group, including my daughter's high school home room teacher.

If you are a regular reader, you have seen this "Bonding Folkdance Class" from China.  Here they perform the dance Imate li Vino.  The English translation of the song is "Do you have wine?" Since February is the month of Trifon Zarezan, the patron saint of vintners, I included it this week. The dance is a lesnoto variation in 7/8 rhythm (pineapple-apple-apple).  Lesnoto is a popular dance in southwestern Bulgaria (Pirin) and in the Republic of Macedonia.

According to the lyrics, you can bring wine, money and young women, but no old ladies! I sense some age discrimination here....

For some reason the end of of the video was cut off. Someone needs to teach the Chinese some video editing skills :)

Although it's a little early, I'd like to wish my Chinese readers a Happy New Year, with health and happiness!

The bonus video for this week is a waltz by the Bulgarian composer Diko Iliev whose birthday falls on February 15. He is best known for the dance piece Dunavsko Horo.  In keeping with the "I" theme (Iliev) and the wine theme, the name of this piece is In the Vineyards Over Ribine.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

"Blessed  Wine, Cursed Drinking, A Look at St. Trifon, the Patron Saint of Vintners

How to Stamp Out Your Frustrations and Relieve Stress (Vlach dances from Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia)

Are you looking forward to spring?  It has been a long, hard winter here with plenty of cold and snow.  Chase away the winter blues with some springtime music by Diko Iliev.

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