Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dancing in the "Different Village" Three Variations of the Romanian Folk Dance Joc Batranesc

Mine is a proud village, such as it is. We are best when dancing. - Makah

Today's featured dance is Joc Batranesc from the village of Niculitel, in Romanian Dobrogea. There is also a region in Bulgaria with a similar name, slightly different spelling: Dobrujda. Both have one thing in common: they share the region between the Danube and the Black Sea.

Joc Batranesc translates into English as "ancient dance," but as you will see, it is not just for senior citizens:) The dance also has different spellings, some with and without diacritical marks; and sometimes an "i" substitutes for the "a". The Romanian spelling with the diacriticals is Joc bătrânesc.

Video #1 shows the dance as it is done in the United States.  Why do they go "oooh" when they move to the center of the circle? This variation must be particular to their "village."

Video #2 features a costumed group of young people from Romania. Notice that their belts are the same colors as the Romanian flag. Although this is essentially the same dance as in video #1, there are variations in style (hops and sways).  These dancers don't vocalize, all you hear are the stamps and the music.

Who is the girl in the middle and why isn't she part of the dance? My guess is that this is their "village" variation; along with the fancy moves.

This group is a pleasure to watch, with an a attractive and charismatic leader. That girl knows her stuff.

Video #3 has the song that goes with the dance; the ensemble is from the village of Niculitel.  There are two other dances in the video that follow Joc Batranesc.  The first rhythm change is at 2:57 where the music turns into Sârba, a fast dance in 6/8. At 5:18 there's another rhythm change, this time it's Cadâneascain 9/16a dance similar to Daichovo Horo from Bulgaria.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The "Flavors" of Romanian Sirba

Crossing the River, Part One, Folk Music from the Romanian Region of Dobrogea 

More Folk Songs from the Romanian Region of Dobrogea

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