Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Balkan Dances That Are Often Confused, Part 12: Sirba Pe Loc and Hora Pe Loc

At one of the annual conventions of the American Society for Aesthetics much confusion arose when the Society for Anesthetics met at the same time in the same hotel.
Rudolf Arnheim

When it comes to the subject of similar names, do you sometimes get confused? It happens quite often at dances!

Do you know the difference between hora and sirba? Today's post features two Romanian dances with similar names. One is a hora, the other a sirba.

Hora is the generic name of a dance popular in Romania and Moldova. It can be easily confused with the Israeli dance of the same name, or the Bulgarian dance with a similar name (horo) or the Greek dance with a name almost like the Bulgarian (horon).

Are you confused yet?

Sirba (also spelled Sârbă) is a Romanian folk dance related in rhythm to Serbian Cacak and the fast Bulgarian Pravo Horo.  You can dance a fast pravo to a sirba or a cacak to a sirba.  They are pretty much interchangeable. During a live music night I (mistakenly) led a cacak to what the band listed as a sirba.  No one took offense to my confusion because the music went perfectly with the steps. Besides, Sirba means "Serb like." The Romanians borrowed the sirba from the Serbs!

Video #1 is Hora Pe Loc from Romania. Pe loc means "in place" Hora is usually done in a circle but it's impossible to make a circle with only four dancers.

Video #2 is Sirba Pe Loc is a dance from the region of Muntenia (southeastern Romania).  There are many variations of the sirba. Villages, towns and regions often have a sirba named after them.  It is a dance commonly done at weddings, when the guys get drunk and want to show off.  The women are too busy struggling to balance on their high heels. They usually have their own "heel friendly" line.

The dominant instruments in the music are the bagpipe and the cimbalom. Sirba Pe Loc is a favorite among international folk dance groups worldwide.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The "Flavors of Romanian Sirba"

The "Flavors" of Romanian Hora

Balkan Dances That are Often Confused (the link will take you backwards to the entire series, starting with Part 11.)

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