Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bring on the Border Crossers!

The question of the value of nationality in art is perhaps unsolvable.
Edward Hopper

Today's dances have a reputation for crossing borders. There are elements of one or more country's influence in all of them.

The first is Arap .Although it is often listed as a dance from Macedonia, it is also very popular in Bulgaria.

Most groups dance Arap to a familiar song about a rabbit headed for Thessaloniki to find a bride. There are other tunes for this dance as well, some with singing and some without.

The Bulgarian version is done to different music, with no vocals.

Recently, one of the ladies in the Sunday group requested Bregovsko Horo.  It is a dance from northwestern Bulgaria near the Serbian border. We hadn't done that one in a long time.

This dance is part Bulgarian, part Vlach and part Serbian.  The steps are similar to Serbian čačak and the music sounds Serbian as well! There is also Vlach influence in the stamps.  The Vlachs in Bulgaria originally came from Romania and influenced the music and dance of the Vidin region. They traveled far and wide all over the Balkans because they often worked as shepherds.

This dance probably has dual or even triple citizenship from all those border crossings :)

Here is a čačak from Serbia for comparison; it is also known as the Five Figure Čačak.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The Travels of Padjusko Horo

The "Flavors" of Serbian Čačak

Three Variations of the Bulgarian/Macedonian Dance Arap

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