Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"Horror From Veche" (fun to watch!)

Growing old is mandatory - growing up is optional.
Chili Davis

This post is dedicated to a friend in the Always on Sunday group, who was in an auto accident on the way to this week's dance.  Although her car was damaged, she's OK and will be dancing with us again soon.

Hora Veche, from Romania, is one of her favorite dances and one that she leads  She is also 85 years old. The oldest person in the group is 92, so if you dance you will live a long time. 

By the way the translation for Hora Veche is "old dance."

What I love about this video is how the dancers have fun and don't take themselves too seriously.  They have a wonderful sense of humor. Listen to the chatter, it's quite funny. When the dance is over, the woman at the end of the line shouts: "We did it!"

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Fun and Easy Romanian Folk Dances

A group from Austria sings along with the music for Valle Pogonishte.
Their enthusiasm is contagious.

The Alien Diaries will be taking a short break.  Look for a new post in early October.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dancing and Spirituality

Just as the ancients danced to call upon the spirits in nature,
we too can dance to find the spirits within ourselves
that have been long buried and forgotten.

Anna Halprin

There is something very spiritual about holding hands with a group of friends and moving in unison.

I knew a woman who was involved with Sacred Circle Dance, an activity that her group did outdoors once a week from late spring to early fall at 8 a.m. She invited me to try it, but their group met at a distance from where I live, and I don't like to get up early.

Some people see dancing as a non-denominational way of connecting with something greater than themselves, whether or not they believe in a Supreme Being.

It is not surprising that there are folk dance groups that meet in houses of worship.

Since is the beginning of the Jewish New Year, today's post features Always on Sunday, a group that dances in a Jewish house of worship.  We meet every Sunday (except for Jewish holidays) at the Temple Beth Torah in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

Here is an example of what we do. This video was taken last November from a dance party with Bulgarika.  The dance is a kopanitsa from Bulgaria.

If you enjoyed this, you may also like:

The Best of Bulgarika

Holy Rivers and Holy Rituals
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Sunday, September 6, 2015

What's in a Name Part Two: Croatian Confusion :)

The cook looked at the old man, and her gibenica burned.
Sukačica, Croatian folk song

Todays' dances can easily be confused because the names are similar. The first one is the very popular Sukačko Kolo from Croatia, based on a humorous song, Sukačica.  It's about a cook who burned a gibenica (cheese pastry). Despite the disaster in the kitchen, everyone has a great time dancing. You can find the lyrics here, in Croatian, German and in English.

The video itself is also cool, because of the male-female costume reversal.  It was mentioned in the comments on YouTube that the dancers wore Serbian costumes. A cultural faux pas, maybe, but certainly not a punishable offense :)

By the way, if you come to my house for dinner, you'll know that the food is ready when the smoke detector goes off:

Dance #2 is spelled a bit differently and has a different meaning.  With the diacritical marks it's Šokačko Kolo, a dance of the Šokač people who live in Serbia, Croatia, and Hungary.  Ethnically, they consider themselves Croats and dance to music played by tamburitza orchestras.

You can see why it's easy to confuse the name with the better known Suka
čko Kolo. I couldn't find any videos of this dance from the States or Canada although I did find notes from the Folk Dance Federation of California.  It was taught at a workshop back in 2009.  For some reason it didn't become part of the repertoire.

High heels are not the best footwear to be worn when dancing, but since this video was taken at a wedding, that is to be expected. I recommend kicking off the shoes, all they do is get in the way.

The dancers uses a front basket hold.

There is more tamburitza music in version #2 of Šokačko Kolo. The video was taken during a party (Šokačka Večer) in 2014. You'll see dancers in traditional folk costumes along with the band.

Croatian dances are usually circular, and move in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction (or both). The word kolo means either "circle" or wheel in Croatian (as well as Serbian).

If you enjoyed this you may also like

What's in a Name Part One: Dobrujanska Pandela and Pandelas
(more confusion re: names)

These posts are must-reads if you like tamburitza music:

Dancing Through the Alphabet Letter K (several folk dances from Croatia)

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

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.