Thursday, January 16, 2020

Balkan Dances That Are Often Confused: Part 19: Dunavsko Horo and Dunavsko Daichovo Horo

If I look confused, it is because I am thinking.
Samuel Goldwyn

Let's start 2020 with one of my favorite topics: Balkan dances that are often confused. It is the series that never ends. If you are a regular, you had probably read the previous 18 posts on this fascinating topic.

Video #1 features a group from the Czech republic, from the city of Brno. Despite the "soubor Pirin" in the title of the video, this is not music from southwest Bulgaria (Pirin region) but from the northwest region. Are you confused yet?

They perform a medley of two dances: the first a Vlach dance (known as Krajdunavsko, or from the Danube region).  Vlach dances are characterized with a lot of fast steps, crossovers and stamps. At 2:04 is the Dunavsko Daichovo Horo.  Daichovo is also a dance popular in northern Bulgaria and there are several variations, with different choreographies and different music.

The original version of Dunavsko Daichovo was composed by someone in the group Orchestra Horo. They are from the city of Ruse, and their specialty is modern renditions of folk songs and dances from the northern region of Bulgaria. The ensemble celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. I'm sure they will make it to their 60th in 2022.

The album cover below is probably from one of their original albums. Remember when there were records instead of digitized music?

Things get to be even more confusing because there is a very famous piece by Diko Iliev, that he composed and introduced in 1937: Dunavsko Horo.

This piece has a martial motif because Diko Iliev was involved with military bands in a number of towns and cities in Bulgaria. Diko Iliev had also fought in the First Balkan War as well as World War I. He was also the bandmaster in the town of Oryahovo, where he composed numerous works.

Video # 3 combines an old war movie with Dunavsko Horo.  The explosions seem to be in time with the music.  The music begins at 0:19. The New Year fireworks in Bulgaria are also in synch with the music. (If you want to see those, check out the 2020 New Year Post).

There are different tunes used for Dunavsko Horo . The choreography is essentially the same no matter what music is used because you can hear the dance in the music.  Here is an example of a more traditional version with dancers in folk costumes.  The group is Ensemble Gotse Delchev.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Balkan Dances That Are Often Confused, Part 18 (links to rest of the series)

The 2020 New Year Post (fireworks)

Same Dance, Different Music: Dunavsko Horo

Orchestra Horo: Modern Bulgarian Folk Songs, Traditional Rhythms

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