We are a nation of survivors. Let us never forget those who were taken from us in hate. Let us honor their memories with random acts of kindness.
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 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.
I have an ulterior motive for compiling this post. I love ballet, but haven’t taken a class since the late 1970s. And I probably won’t. But I’m jealous of the strength these petite little dancers have.
I haven’t even done my folk dancing since November, because of my arthritis. The only place I can move without pain is the pool, so I’ve been in it a lot since the weather warmed up. I’ll be having hip replacement surgery next week, then six weeks of physical therapy. And eventually, I’ll be able to ease into dancing again. And I’d like to add ballet exercises to my workout rotation. So, I’m looking for YouTube videos.
And I’m generously sharing them with you.
(Some of these exercises will be forbidden for a while—risk of dislocation; so if you’ve just had hip replacement surgery, follow your doctor’s orders.)
So, do you think you’ll try some of these ballet exercise routines? Is this article helpful to you? Please click the “Like” button and share on all your social media. Thanks!
Thank you to the incomparable Donna from My OBT, whose mission is to provide us with one beautiful thing every day.
A History of Rock in 15 minutes: 348 rockstars, 84 guitarists, 64 songs, 44 drummers, 1 mashup
Today’s beautiful thing is a brilliantly-done mashup offering up a (partial) history of rock and roll music. The brainchild of Ithaca Audio, the video uses an invented (and inventive) Facebook feed to tell the story.
Of course, we could argue endlessly about the inclusion – and exclusion – of certain songs and artists, but it’s a very tidy and intriguing package as is. Here’s the filmmakers’ very thoughtful response to viewers’ comments about the songs included:
To read the rest of the article and view the video, click here.
A beautiful folk dance from Russia:
And as a special bonus, another folkdance starting with Y: Yar ko parag, from Armenia:
I am still laid up with hip issues, so I can’t folk dance. Sigh. I especially miss Israeli dances. Please watch with me while I vicariously enjoy:
- The basic hora (circle dance). The simplest of the Israeli dances, often done to Hava Nagila. You might dance this at a wedding. You can have a conversation with your neighbor while doing this.Traveling clockwise (to your left), the sequence is: side, behind, step, kick, step, kick, repeat ad infinitum.
- Jedid Nefesh. I don’t think my dance group does this one. I came across it on YouTube, and it’s lovely.
- Ma Navu.
- Hora Medura.
- Erev Shel Shoshanim. There is more than one choreography for this dance; this one is my favorite.
- Tzadik Katamar. See the palm trees swaying in the wind?
- Sonata. Several of us in the Phoenix International Folk Dancers are obsessed with this dance. Watch the man in the center with the blue t-shirt–he choreographed this.
- Salamati. This is one of the most complicated and athletic of the Israeli dances that we do. (Well, that my group does. I’m still learning it.)
- Tzena, Tzena, and Hava Nagila with a more elaborate choreography.
I hope you enjoyed our little trip around the world to see Israeli dances. Personally, I’m ready to watch these videos all over again.