Welcome!

This is a site for Folk Dancers.  I suspect you’re already enjoying this wonderful activity.  I’m here to provide context for your dances. What does it mean to be Macedonian, and how does that differ from being Greek, Bulgarian, Roma, or Serbian? How did a particular dance come about – is it a “village” dance, or someone’s creation?  What is the relationship between the dance and its music – which is accompanying which?  What was the occasion for this dance – a wedding, religious festival, pagan rite, performance?  What do the costumes tell about the person wearing them?  Have the dances changed over time and location?  How did peasants celebrate the agricultural cycle, and do they still?

I enjoy researching the milieu that produced the dances of Southeast Europe, Anatolia, and the Levant, and I like sharing what I’ve discovered.   At first glance one would think that Greece, Romania, Armenia and Syria wouldn’t have much in common, but in fact they share millennia of common cultural influences.

As far as the dances themselves are concerned my main interest is, what’s going on today in the place of origin?  I watch You Tubes of weddings, festivals, etc to see what the “natives” are dancing, and if they are the same dances we “outsiders” were taught that they danced.  Often I find that we and they dance differently, so I post You Tubes of what they are up to.

Browse the INDEX for subjects that interest you.   New material will be added weekly, and existing material is often updated.  If you would like email notifications whenever new material is posted, become a follower.  Simply click the “Follow” button in the lower right corner of this page and fill in your email address.  You won’t miss updates!

I dedicate this website to Ron Houston, of the Society of Folk Dance Historians,

http://www.socalfolkdance.org/master_teachers/houston_r.htm

for his invaluable information, enthusiasm, and support throughout the years.  He is the driving force behind the Folk Dance Problem Solvers* so often referred to in my postings. The encouragement is his, the opinions and errors are mine. Also to Dale Adamson, she of the boundless energy, Lyrids festival, and gazillion YouTube posts, for suggesting I do this website.  And to Susanjane Hamilton, my dance partner of 35+ years, for inspiration, support, valuable advice, and for indulging my eccentricities.

I look forward to your questions or comments (below or email me at dondancing@gmail.com)

Don Buskirk

*The Problem Solvers are issued yearly with a membership in the Society.  Back issues (31 and counting!) are available to members.  Contact the Society via email at:   SFDHist@gmail.com

11 thoughts on “Welcome!

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  1. Hi, Hedda,

    I dance in New England: Amherst, MA, Wethersfield, MA and sometimes Boston. I am not familiar with your area so know nothing about the dance venues there. There used to be a publication, “The Dance Gypsy” that had a listing of places to dance in the U.S. but they haven’t updated their site in three years. Wish I could help you….

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    1. Thanks for the kind words. I discovered and appreciated your blog a couple of years ago – it helped form a model for my own. You’ve inspired me to update my Gerakina music postings (now there are 3). See Gerakina under MUSIC>LYRICS>ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS for the 4 more direct translations I sourced to create my own. For more detailed information on the origins of both the song and the dance, Ron Houston’s Folk Dance Problem Solver for 2007 has the definitive research.

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      1. Hi, Don! Glad to hear my blog was an inspiration for you. Back in 2010 there were no folk dance blogs on the Internet, so my purpose was to fill a void. Eight years later I’m still going at it, but not posting as much because I have carpal tunnel in both hands. Check back periodically, when my hands aren’t hurting I’ll write a post or two. I see you are in the Hawaiian islands. I don’t know how far you are from the volcano, so stay safe and Happy Dancing

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  2. Hello!

    I have been reading your posts and comparing them to what I’ve written in my blog about Balkan folk dances.

    Check out my post on Bregovsko Horo. It is similar in structure to the Cacak Horo. Our group calls it the “one figure cacak.” It sounds more Serbian than Bulgarian!
    http://katleyplanetbg.blogspot.com/2018/01/variations-on-bulgarian-folk-dance.html

    Also liked your notes on Gerakina, a dance I had recently written about. I went crazy looking for a translation for the lyrics. All I knew was that it was about a girl who had fallen into a well.

    Thanks for sharing all this wonderful infohttp://katleyplanetbg.blogspot.com/2018/01/variations-on-bulgarian-folk-dance.htmlhttps://katleyplanetbg.blogspot.com/ on folk dances.

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  3. Oh no! Someone just pointed me to this site, and now I’m going to have to spend ages looking at all the info! 🙂 Looks very interesting, including information not readily accessible to me elsewhere. My experience of International Folk Dance in the UK is that we are often taught the region that a dance comes from, and the style; but not so much about a dance’s history, or how traditional the dance may be – or whether it was choreographed for the folk dance market.

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  4. Congratulations.

    You’re an amazing historian and an easy teacher to follow. That you are so willing, with such joy, to share your love of folk dancing and folk lore, is all of our gain.

    Hope you do a write-up regarding the launch for the Northwest Folkdancers Inc. magazine nwfolkdancers@gmail.com

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  5. So glad you are sharing on a wider stage Don. You have certainly provided Kauai with lots of opportunity to enjoy more of the dances, history, language and cultures of the world. Thank you and Susanjane for your wonderful contributions to making our world a more loving place.

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