Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dancing Through the Alphabet: Letter O

A shoe is not only a design, but it's a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you're going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.
Christian Louboutin

Dancers, especially,  can be very particular about their shoes.  It took me many tries to find a pair of shoes that worked for me.  I found that Zumba shoes are very good  for Balkan dance, since they have the right combination of flexibility and support and are lightweight.  They were also reasonably priced (it was the best $50 I spent on a pair of dance shoes).

This week's dance is Opinca and the name has to do with peasant shoes (opinci), worn in a number of Balkan countries as part of the folk costume.

Opinca is from the Romanian region of Bukovina.  Bukovina is one of those places that has changed hands a number of times over the years. It was dominated in succession by the Ottoman Turks, the Russians and the Austro-Hungarian empire and nowadays is split up between Romania and Ukraine.

I couldn't find a single page with the dance notes, however, there was an entire syllabus with over 100 pages that contained the dance notes on page 25. ( It may take you a while to get to it if your computer is slow, like mine.).

The melody is really cool and typically Romanian: panpipes, cimbalom and violin. The dance has a few stamps, but is overall very smooth.

This group is from the United States, and they go by two different names: Kolo Koalition and Kolo Dragan.

Today's bonus video is of a Zumba class. When I can't get to Balkan dance I go to Zumba, it's a nice change. I like music from Latin America.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

More Interesting and Unusual Instruments in Balkan Folk Music

Romanian Folk Dance in the United States

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