Tag Archives: Folk Dancing

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!

 

I’d Rather Be Dancing: Bulgarian Folk Dances

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Bulgaria is known as The Land of Roses and produces 85% of the world’s rose oil.

It also has a rich culture including lots of beautiful dances.

Vrapceto is popular in the United States and is often taught to children. Usually it is performed in short lines of about six dancers with hands joined in a basket hold.

Kapetan Vojvoda. You might want to view this one full screen. (Actually, they’re all better full-screen. Do you know how to do that? Click on the broken square in the lower right hand corner of the frame.)

Ciganko.

Doydi Doydi Libe Le.

Eleno Mome. I love the costumes in this video!

Godecki Cacak.

Juta. This music has an incredibly long introduction before the dance begins. You can skip to 1:04 if you’re short on time.

Gankino Horo.

There are several dances that go by the name of Malesevsko Horo. This is the version my club has done, but with different music.

Varnenska Kjucek. (several of my dance friends are in this video)

Vlasko Horo is one of my favorite dances, though I often mess up on the fast parts.

 

Creative Juice #129

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Creative Juice #129

Dream, gather inspiration, and create!

  1. Zoology anatomy lesson.
  2. A knitting designer shares some of her sketches.
  3. How artists deal with the pain of lost love.
  4. Life in the 1800s beautifully captured by Mary Ellen Best.
  5. When photographer Omar Robles went home to Puerto Rico, he was so shocked by the devastation and abandoned buildings (aftermath of Hurricane Maria) that he photographed dancers against the background of ruins.
  6. You don’t need lots of room for a book nook.
  7. Tips from a street photographer.
  8. The gorgeous illustrations of Kayla Herren.
  9. If you want to move a big rock over 100 miles, be prepared to apply for a lot of permits.
  10. Many variations on the iconic face of the New Yorker.
  11. Sketches from Disneyland.
  12. Beautiful Bulgarian folk dances. (I’d rather be dancing!)

I’d Rather Be Dancing Romanian Folk Dances

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I’d Rather Be Dancing Romanian Folk Dances

Ah, the beautiful dances of Romania! Gorgeous music, visually and rhythmically stunning!

One of the dances I often taught when I was an elementary general music teacher is the Romanian dance Alunelul. It matches the very distinctive rhythm of the music, and also fits well with the Christmas song Up on the Rooftop.

And a gypsy dance from Romania, Dana:

Hora De Mînă:

I know the video shows a different name, but this Romanian dance is generally known as Îni Viţui Nâ Featâ Moi:

This beautiful Romanian dance honors midwives. Joc De Leagăne, also known as “The Cradle Dance”:

Something more lively and upbeat–Made în România:

Opincă:

Get ready to swing your arms. Rustemul:

This is one of my favorite dances to lead. Beautiful music. Siriul:

In November, Lee Otterholt (well-known international folk dance teacher) came to Phoenix International Folk Dancers group and taught us some dances. I’ve been obsessed with La Bordeiul cel din Vale ever since. It was choreographed by Ira Weisburd, the man in black whom you see keying up the laptop and leading:

2018 in Review

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2018 in Review

This time last year, I dreamed that ARHtistic License would grow from 350+ to 600 subscribers. As of this writing (Wednesday afternoon), we’re almost there. If you haven’t yet joined our subscribers and you like what you see on ARHtistic License, please help us out by hitting the “Follow” button on the sidebar. Thanks, and welcome to our artistic community!

My hope for 2019 is that ARHtistic License will pass the 1,000 follower mark. It would mean a lot to me if you’d help out by spreading the word, sharing your favorite articles on your social media.

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My Top Ten Posts of 2018 tabulated by number of views. Have you seen all of these?

  1. #DC350 Rimana Heart String—This post (and the next five) includes my entry to the Diva Challenge, a weekly Zentangle challenge. I don’t participate every week, but Zentangle devotees are a very generous group who encourage each other by visiting each other’s blogs, Instagram, Flicker, and Pinterest accounts.
  2. #DC379 Holidaze
  3. #DC364 Puf
  4. #DC360 Shattuck vs. Tripoli
  5. #DC362 Somnee
  6. #DC346 Phicops & Huggins
  7. 12 Best Quilting Blogs—in my opinion.
  8. 10 Best Zentangle Sites on the Web—again, in my opinion. I’ve stumbled across some more fabulous ones since I published this list; I’ll have to update it eventually.
  9. NaPoWriMo Day 21—My poem for Day 21 of National Poetry Writing Month (April) was featured on the challenge’s official website the next day, sending lots of traffic to ARHtistic License. The downside: it was not one of my better poems for the month. I much prefer this one or pretty much any other poem I posted that month.
  10. Hawaiian Quilting with Pat Gorelangton—I wanted to write about Hawaiian quilts and had the good fortune to find a website that featured Gorelangton. I contacted her and asked if I could write about her work, and she generously consented to be interviewed via email and sent me images of her quilts to use in the article. Not only did my article get lots of views from quilters and people interested in the art of Hawaiian quilts, but Gorelangton is beloved in Hawaii, and her fans found the article, too.

But an article I wrote in 2016 got even more views this year than the Gorelangton interview. Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee received 543 views in 2018 and 870 views since it was published.

 

Other older articles that were heavily viewed in 2018:

2. Ballet Feet—what ballet dancers suffer for their art.

3. How to Practice the Piano: Doh! Dohnányi—If you’ve ever practiced these exercises, you know what I mean.

4. How to Make a Meme on a Mac—step by step instructions.

5. Yarn and Beads—about the art of the Huichol people of Mexico.

6. Escaping the Khmer Rouge: Review of Beautiful Hero by Jennifer H. Lau—This autobiographical book has won 5 awards.

7. Happy Anniversary!—wherein I celebrate the first three months of the existence of my blog.

8. Phoenix Art Museum—what my daughter Katie and I saw on a Mother’s Day excursion.

I also contribute guest posts to A Writer’s Path. Here are some of my top articles there:

1.     12 Worst Blogging Mistakes. 808 views.

2.     For Bloggers: How to Post Every Day. 543 views.

3.     20 Tools Every Writer Needs. 478 views.

4.     21 Inspirational Quotes for Writers. 416 views.

As I review my creative goals for 2018, I see that I didn’t completely achieve them, but I did make general progress.
frustrated-writer-2
I did a run-through of my God of Paradox manuscript with my bible study group, got some excellent feedback, and discovered some real problems that needed to be corrected. I’m almost finished with the rewrite. I’m going to see if my pastor or someone with a theology degree will read through it for me, then I’ll maybe do another rewrite if necessary, or a quick polishing, and start submitting in 2019.

The Unicornologist has been on the back burner, but never far from my thoughts. I’m hoping to solve all my plot problems and do a thorough final rewrite, then seek representation in 2019.

 

I’ve really stalled on recorder and guitar, hardly practicing at all in the last six months. I’ve been more faithful about piano.

 

I’ve written some poetry; if I can write and rewrite enough poems in the next couple of weeks, I might enter another chapbook in a contest.

I’ve made some artwork, illustrations and Zentangle. Here’s my New Year’s wish for you. Patterns used: poke leaf, fescu, chainlea, leaflet variation, brayd, herzlbee, cuke variation, verdigogh.Zentangle, hope

 

I had a hip replacement in July. For eight months before the surgery I suffered enough pain that I could not dance. (Heck, I could barely walk.) I am happy to say I am dancing once again and helping to teach dances in my international folk dance group.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you’d like to see more of on ARHtistic License. What art- and creativity-related topics would you like me to cover? Which artists, musicians, and composers would you like profiled? Which of my articles and features do you like best? Please share in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe to ARHtistic License, to hit the “Like” button below, and to share your favorite article (find links to my most popular articles above) on all your social media. Thank you, and have a happy New Year!

Ethnic Costumes

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Ethnic Costumes

One of my favorite aspects of folk dancing is seeing authentic folk costumes. Many folk dancers own costumes from their family heritage of from countries they’ve visited. Since I’m the offspring of German parents, I bought myself a dirndl from Germany. In the picture below, taken at the 2015 Phoenix Folk Dance Festival, I’m standing in the front row in the center wearing the mostly black dress. Others are wearing costumes from all over or contemporary United States casual attire.2015 Phoenix Folk Dance Festival

Many folk costumes from Europe feature colorful embroidery. An example of Ukranian clothing:

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Queen Elisabeta of Romania. Notice that she is spinning wool with a drop spindle.

Queen Elisabeta of Romania

A Polish folk dance troupe:

 

Poland- by Felouch Kotek, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 800px-Mazowsze_2011

Photo by Felouch Kotek, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

 

Macedonian females:

Macedonia- 640px-Women_from_Smilevo,_1913

Albanian men:

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Serbian costumes:

Serbian folk dancers

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A warrior costume from Indonesia:

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Some of the above photographs I took myself, and others I found on Wikipedia. It’s hard to find lots of photos that don’t require a permissions process, but I do have a board of folk dance costumes on Pinterest, if you’d like to see more.

I’d Rather Be Dancing: Serbian Folk Dances

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I’d Rather Be Dancing: Serbian Folk Dances

I am now twelve weeks post-hip-surgery, and I’m back dancing with the Phoenix International Folk Dancers! Hallelujah!

Some of our favorite dances come from Serbia. Here’s a lovely warm-up dance:

This one is calm and sedate:

Another favorite dance:

And another one:

The next few I’ve never done, but they look like fun:

This group of children has obviously been very well-trained. The first dance is Ersko Kolo; the second one is Kačerac. Beautiful performance, lovely form.

This lively number is performed by students at the Serbian Dance Academy. Note how the dancers hold on to each other’s belts.

Serbians really know how to party:

Do you agree that Serbian dances are wonderful?

If you’ll be in the Phoenix area in early November, come to Serb Fest at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 4436 E McKinley Street (near 44th St. and Loop 202). Saturday, Nov. 3 from 11 am – 10 pm; Sunday, Nov. 4 from 12 noon – 8 pm. Food, music and dancing, bouncy structures, church tours, and items for sale. Admission is only $4. My daughter and I attended last year and had a wonderful time.