Category Archives: Dance

I’d Rather be Dancing Swedish Folk Dances

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640px-Flag_of_Sweden.svgLovely Sweden has many beautiful folk dances. Here are just a few.

Familijevals provides lots of opportunities for flirting.

Even though the video says Norway, I think this dance is actually Swedish. Far Ja Lov might mean May I Have This Dance.

This dance has two names: Klapperstycket and Fyrtur från Luggude. It showcases many figures used in folk dancing and square dancing.

Fjäskern (Hurry Scurry) gets faster with each repetition. Also, you change partners every repetition.

Gustaf’s skål (Gustav’s toast) is named after King Gustaf III of Sweden. The dance is appropriately courtly.

Two dances are demonstrated in this video. The first, Hambo, is considered the national dance of Sweden. The second, Väva Vadmal (The Weaver’s Dance) imitates the action of a loom.

Johan På Snippen, a mixer:

Långdans från Sollerön:

Mazurka till Marilyn:

Oxdans (Bull Dance) can be danced by two men or by multiple men in pairs. There are many versions, but they all involve intimidation and “fighting.”

Västgötapolska:

Creative Juice #170

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Creative Juice #170

 

 

Our last collection of curated inspiration for 2019:

 

 

 

  • Photographs of balloons.
  • Beautiful architecture in Lyon, France.
  • A designer talks about a chair.
  • What the UPS guy was really doing when he should have been delivering my packages.
  • When dancing on the walls, watch out for the windows.
  • Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon that causes people to see patterns in a random stimulus. This condition can lead people to assign human characteristics to objects. Here’s what an pareidolic artist does when he sees faces in inanimate objects.
  • If you haven’t had enough Christmas yet, here’s a lovely Christmas quilt.
  • The Brownings and others muse on artistic integrity.
  • This museum is on my bucket list.
  • A children’s book illustrator describes her path and her process.
  • So far I’ve never found a podcast that I actually wanted to follow. Maybe one of these recommendations will inspire me.
  • 1960s architecture in Brasilia.

I’d Rather Be Dancing Greek Folk Dances

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Opa! I love the wonderful, joyful, vibrant dances of the Greeks. And to me, Syrtaki is the quintessential Greek dance, with the traditional instrumentation and the tempo changes.

Hasapiko is a very popular Greek dance. The basic hasapiko step finds its way into many Greek dances, including the one above.

My hands-down favorite Greek folk dance is Oniero Demeno, characterized by the hasapiko step (the basic step in the video above):

Another sweet dance that features the hasapiko step is Little Miss Greece. These dancers are some of my friends from Phoenix International Folk Dancers.

There are many Greek dances called Tsamikos. This is different from the Tsamikos PIFD does, but I especially like this video because the male dancers wear the traditional Greek men’s costume.

This version of Gerakina is a little different than our group does it, but it’s a very nice student performance. The lyrics of the song tell a traditional Greek story. Gerakina is a beautiful young woman who is a sought-after potential bride. Death was jealous of her and was determined to claim her. One day Gerafina went to the well for water, but lost her balance and fell in, her bracelets jingling on the way down. She cried for help, and a young man jumped in to save her, but their lifeless bodies had to be extracted by the villagers.

Tik is danced very close.

Thiakos alternates between two different patterns with distinct meters.

There are many Greek dances called Syrtos. Here is a basic one.

Syrtos Kitrinou has a hauntingly beautiful melody. The dance consists of a basic step and two variations.

Video of the Week #231: Being Clara

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I’d Rather Be Dancing Armenian Folk Dances

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Armenia_(orthographic_projection).svg

Armenia is located in western Asia. It is bordered on the west by Turkey, on the North by Georgia, on the east by Azerbaijan, and on the south by Iran. It was the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the late third century. One hundred years ago, during World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands were exterminated in the Armenian Genocide.

Armenia has a rich musical and dance heritage. My very favorite Armenian dance is Sirun Aghchik, which is also known by the English translation of the name, Sweet Girl. This wonderful video includes instruction by Tom Bozigian. Pinkies are joined.

My second favorite Armenian dance is Armenian Miserlou, Racine version. I found these notes by Michael Kuharski on Folk Dance Musings:

This dance was developed by Tondee Akgoulian and her family in the 1960’s in Racine, Wisconsin. The Akgoulian family band played for Armenian weddings, parties, picnics, and other events in southeastern Wisconsin for a number of years. This dance was apparently developed for the dance group which sometimes performed with the band. The dance is a mixture of steps found in other Armenian dances done at that time. This description represents the version of the dance currently done in the international folkdance community of Madison, Wisconsin.

My third favorite Armenian dance is Yar Ko Parag. The music is so haunting.

My fourth favorite Armenian dance is Ooska Gookas (also spelled Uske Gugas).

Those are the only Armenian dances I know personally. Luckily, I found lots of videos of other Armenian Dances on Folk Dance Musings.

Very graceful: Aghcheekneroo Par.

Beautiful Armenian costumes in this video: Beejo.

A simple dance, Eench Eenamaee.

A couple dance, Eloo Yar:

Guhnega. This is an old video, and the dancers’ heads are cut off for much of it (but you only need to see their feet, don’t you).

Haire Mamougeh. This is a wedding dance. The two lines represent the two in-law families.

Creative Juice #162

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Creative Juice #162

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

I’d Rather Be Dancing Roma Folk Dances

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The Roma people are bands of nomads who originated in India but have migrated world-wide. It is estimated there are 5 million Roma today, but it’s hard to verify, since they are by definition itinerant and aren’t generally counted in censuses. They are sometimes known as gypsies, a term that is disliked for its pejorative connotations.

The Roma people are accomplished musicians and dancers. The composer Franz Liszt was deeply influenced by the Roma music he heard. And folk dancers cherish the dances in Roma style.

Mahala Mori Shej, performed at the Phoenix International Folk Festival in 2018:

Chaj Zibede:

Chef is a Roma dance from Romania:

Chikulata Chickita is a Greek Roma dance:

Cine Are Noroc Are is a Roma dance from Romania with an interesting toe-heel figure:

Dana is another Roma dance from Romania. Listen for the call of the loon in the beginning of the music:

E Shukar Romnji is a Roma dance from Hungary:

Mori Shej is another Roma dance from Hungary:

Opa Cupa is a Roma dance from Serbia:

Phiravelman Kalyi Phuv is a Roma dance from Macedonia:

Sherianqe (to the song Ketri Ketri) is a Roma dance from Albania: