Category Archives: Dance

Video of the Week #214: Little Swans

Standard

My favorite part of my favorite ballet. I could watch this all day.

I’d Rather Be Dancing German Folk Dances

Standard
I’d Rather Be Dancing German Folk Dances

My heritage is German. My father grew up in Bavaria. My mother was from Silesia, which after World War II became part of Poland. My parents met in Berchtesgaden, married in 1951, emigrated to the United States in 1952, and I was born that November. I’ve always had a special love for the land of my ancestors, full of beauty and culture. Germany has many beautiful and whimsical folk dances.

First up is one the Phoenix International Folk Dancers do, D’hammerschmiedsg’selln, which means “the blacksmith.” It’s also taught to schoolchildren.

Kreuz König. Watch the groups in the back—the girls go airborne!

Mein Mann ist gefahren ins Heu (Man in the Hay):

Marklander:

Nickeltanz:

A Ländler is a dance popular in Austria, Bavaria, and the German-speaking part of Switzerland. This is the Niederbayrischer Ländler (meaning that it comes from lower Bavaria):

One of the more well-known Ländlers in the United States would be the one that Maria danced with Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. You can see the some of the same styling as in the previous video, with the hand-clapping and the turns and the positions of the arms:

Sauerländer Quadrille #5:

Rheinländer:

Reit im Winkl is named for the town in Bavaria where the dance originated. It is a Schuhplattler, in which the men do a lot of stamping and slapping of thighs, knees, and shoes:

Schuhplatten is so much fun that Conan O’Brien went all the way to Germany to learn how:

“First the work, then the fun.” Yes, every German and German-American kid has heard that.

Creative Juice #144

Standard

Creativity + skill = masterpiece!

I’d Rather Be Dancing Hungarian Folk Dances

Standard

The Hungarians have some of the most beautiful folk dances in the world. Here are a few of my favorites.

Somogyi Karikázó is a wedding dance. Generally, the women dance in a circle while the men dance in a line outside the circle:

Duda Nota is a lot simpler than it looks. This video starts with a little instruction:

Adjon Az Isten. I love this music:

Oláhos:

Születésnapra, which our Phoenix International Folk Dancers call by its translation, “For a Birthday”:

This dance is new to me, but it is quite simple. Körtánc:

Hungary has traditional had a large Roma population. These dances have a Roma flavor:

E Shukar Romnji

Mori Shej. This dance starts out like E Shukar Romnji, but then alternates with a fun variation.

Mahala Mori Shej, a completely different dance. Watch the lady in red in the center who is teaching the dance:

To close, I found this wonderful video of a Hungarian dance troupe at a cultural festival in China. I don’t know the names of these dances.

 

 

Creative Juice #142

Standard
Creative Juice #142

A collection of creative genius.

I’d Rather Be Dancing Macedonian Folk Dances

Standard
Macedonia_region_map_wikipedia

Map showing location of present-day North Macedonia and former (heavy dotted line) boundary of historic Macedonia, by ГоранМирчевски, used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Ah, the beautiful dances of Macedonia!

Ajšino Oro is a lovely dance, but a little tricky, because the dance does not follow the same structure as the music. In most dances, we can say “the music will tell us,” because when a certain musical phrase repeats, so do the dance movements that accompany it. Not true in this dance.

Belasičko Oro is one of my favorite dances. It has four patterns. Unfortunately, this video starts after the dance has begun.

Dimna Juda is named after a female non-human entity in Macedonia folklore. This is a simple dance that many U.S. elementary general music teachers use in their classrooms (as I did).

Ivanice is a sweet dance of one repeated pattern. Once a group learns this dance, they will often converse with one another while dancing, because their concentration is no longer required for the steps. This video is a little over-exposed, but the dancing is so nicely done.

Lesnoto is an easy dance pattern that fits many Macedonian songs. This is a popular dance for the town square or for festivals, and again, many dancers will converse with one another or sing along while dancing.

Makedonsko devojče (Beautiful Macedonian Girl) is a well-known song and a favorite among folk dancers. Our group (Phoenix International Folk Dancers) often uses it as a last dance in our Tuesday night sessions. It fits the Lesnoto step perfectly.

Jovane Jovanke has only two patterns. The common Lesnoto step is done during the singing, and a transitional “in and out” step is done during the instrumental sections.

Bavno Oro is another dance I like a lot. It has three patterns. The first is the Lesnoto step; the second involves two touches with the left heel, one with the right, and a grapevine. The first two patterns repeat, followed by a third, which is more involved, and which coincides with an increase in the tempo. I have never mastered the third pattern.

Ventzi’s Arap is also fairly simple, with only two patterns. I like this video because of the wonderful dancing and the beautiful costumes, but our group does this dance to different music (Katerino Mome).

Žensko Za Râka is a dance I’m unfamiliar with, but it looks like fun:

Creative Juice #140

Standard
Creative Juice #140

Fun and inspiration: