Saturday, July 29, 2017

Variations on the Bulgarian Folk Dance Kutsata

We need creativity in order to break free from the temporary structures that have been set up by a particular sequence of experience.
Edward de Bono

What I have found fascinating in the world of folk dance is the concept of "the different village."  In the "different village", the dance is performed in a different manner than the way we were taught. Choreography is not a static entity, and variations make it interesting and more challenging.

Today's dance variations are of Kutsata, from the Bulgarian region of Dobrudja. It is a rachenitsa (the national dance of Bulgaria) and in the time signature of 7/8 or 7/16 (depending on the speed).

Kutsata translates into "the cuckoo" in English via Google Translate. A lady on Facebook pointed out that Google Translate was incorrect; that the name of the dance is derived from kutsam (to limp). Thanks for the feedback!

The dances of Dobrudja are known for their "heaviness", stamps and strong arm movements.

Video #1 features dancers in elaborate embroidered costumes, accompanied by live music (accordion, tupan and gaida).

Video #2 is performed by the dance club 7/8. They named themselves after the time signature that is common to the folk dances rachenitsa, lesnoto, and chetvorno. The difference is the grouping of the beats; rachenitsa is apple-apple-pineapple; lesnoto and chetvorno are pineapple-apple-apple.

This is a different choreography from Video #1, to different music.

Video #3 is of a dance class practicing another version of Kutsata, with stamps, arm waving, and knee bends in true Dobrudjan style.

Video #4 is a dance related to Kutsata. The music is the same as in Video #1, but the dance is listed as Панделаж (Pandelas).

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The "Flavors" of Bulgarian Rachenitsa Part One, and Part Two

Povlekana is another rachenitsa from Dobrujda.

You can see another version of Pandelas here.

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1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading and watching.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.