Tag Archives: Folk Dancing

I’d Rather Be Dancing Hungarian Folk Dances

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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.

 

 

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:

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

 

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: