Category Archives: Dance

Creative Juice #142

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Creative Juice #142

A collection of creative genius.

I’d Rather Be Dancing Macedonian Folk Dances

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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

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Creative Juice #140

Fun and inspiration:

L is for Folk Dances that Start with “L”

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I dance with Phoenix International Folk Dancers every Tuesday night. Here are a bunch of dances we do that start with the letter “L.”

From French-speaking Canada, La Bastringue:

From Romania, La Bordeiul cel din Vale:

From Greece, Lerikos:

From Russia, Lugovon’ka:

From the United States, Louisiana Saturday Night:

From Wales, Lazy Robin (I actually know it as Idle Robin, but idle doesn’t start with “L”):

From Israel, Od Lo Ahavti Dai (on some lists of dances, it appears as Lo Ahavti Dai, so I’m counting it as an “L” dance):

Last Tuesday night, these sweet ladies from Phoenix International Folk Dancers performed one of my favorite dances, Little Miss Greece, so that I could post it here for your viewing pleasure.

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

 

Creative Juice #335

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Creative Juice #335

Amazing stuff this week:

Video of the Week #194: Teen Ballet Dancers

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Phoenix Folk Dance Festival

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Phoenix Folk Dance Festival

This past Saturday marked the 32nd Annual Phoenix Folk Dance Festival.  You missed it? Tsk. Too bad. Make sure you come next year. It will be announced on the ARHtistic License Facebook page (another reason to “like” it). Or better yet, follow the Phoenix International Folk Dancers Facebook page, too.

In the mean time, I’ll give you a small taste of what you missed.

 

I didn’t take my good camera; after sitting out last year because of my pending hip replacement, this year I planned to dance all afternoon (12 noon to 4:30), and I didn’t want to have to babysit my expensive camera. So the photographs I took aren’t all that good; the shutter speed on my Sony Cyber-shot is so slow it didn’t take the picture I’d framed, and it didn’t freeze the action, so they turned out all blurry.

 

We danced folk dances from many countries: Serbia, Bulgaria, South Africa, Albania, Kurdistan, Romania, Israel, Albania, Russia, Turkey, Colombia, United States, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Bolivia, Macedonia, Scotland, Maldova, Armenia, Finland, and Japan were all represented, as were the Roma people.

Two exhibition groups performed. The Tucson International Folk Dancers danced Ukrainian dances.

The Asli Karatas Dancers were two youth groups. The youngest dancers performed Turkish dances:

And the older dancers demonstrated the Charleston and some Rockabilly moves:

And I captured the general participants doing an Israeli dance, Erev Ba.

The festival passed surprisingly quickly. We had guests from all over Arizona. We saw some old friends we haven’t seen in a while. We had a lot of fun, and we hope you will join us next year. Or if you’re ever in the Phoenix area, come dance with us most Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 9:30 at the Irish Cultural Center. Bring your dancing shoes.

Wayne Magninie took this panoramic video of most of the attendees. If you look very carefully, you might even find me!