Joc de Leagane, 2ndG – Romania – Updated


5 thoughts on “Joc de Leagane, 2ndG – Romania – Updated

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  1. To give a quick update on my prior post. The 3rd video from Theodor and Lia Vasilescu is NOT number 8 in the series. It isn’t in the numbered series, just has the title for 19 dances.


  2. The notes from the Evansville Indiana group come from me. I had put these out quite some time ago after interviewing Theodor Vasilescu. I have 3 different videos of Theodor Vasilescu doing this dance, one with Lia, his wife. He saw this dance being done at Stockton Folkdance camp in 1992. He realized it wasn’t correct. Steve Turner was taping for the camp videos and I was watching. Tieneke Van Gheel was there since she was doing a couple dance with him. From what both Theodor and Tieneke told me, Niko learned this dance from Theodor at a master class in the Netherlands. Tieneke was there learning it with him. I have no comment on Niko’s story about where he learned it, but Theodor was quite adamant about this. Steve Turner taped Theodor doing the dance and he sent me a copy. I passed on the dance to others as done by Theodor. The dance, per the examples given in your site, are not quite correct (especially the hand hold). I wrote out dance notes for it and had Theodor review it for me. I’ll look for them (it’s been quite a while ago). He later came to teach at the Corvallis festival where he explained where he got the dance and what it was about (video 2). And yes, he learned the dance from a woman’s group at a performance in Dragomiresti They told him it was no longer done there. But, it was to honor the midwife; see the story from the Indiana group. Theodor and Lia put out several dance videos. I have several and this is from No. 8 in the series: 19 dances from their program of Romanian Folk Dances (video 3). It is number 13 on the video. I have put this onto a DVD to preserve it. I just reviewed the dance and I am still doing the correct steps. For one the hand hold is unusual in the beginning, with the person in front putting their left hand back over their left shoulder, palm up and the person behind them, putting their right hand onto the front person’s left-to hold their hand that way. I’ll look for my dance notes or write them all out again! I am very glad that Theodor and Lia put out these videos as I urged him to do, so his knowledge wouldn’t be lost. He has put lots of extraneous information about the various regions as well as videos he collected from performances and villages. He has also put some corrected versions of other dances that were mistaught, such as Briul de la Fagaras. I was lucky to have him show me the entire dance to the correct music in my kitchen. I taught it to my kids group and they performed it.


  3. I have the Gerge Vancu recording. He was a very well-known and well-connected arranger of Transylvanian music during the Ceaușescu era, and was respected for keeping his ensembles small, not succumbing to the trend in the ’60s and’70s toward having large folk ensembles. Every once in a while he did relapse into that style, though, and this is one of them. For one thing they do NOT sing in harmony anywhere in Romania traditionally (except in Szászcsávás among the Hungarians, but that is another story [they learned it from theology students who studied in Germany]). The melody does have a traditional Maramureș melodic contour., but the rest, as Pece Atanasovski once said is “fantazia”. I suspect the dance is beloved in the US because it is slow and pretty. Maramureș men’s dances are gritty,, and the most common dance was (and is, from what I saw in June) a couple dance (many American IFD groups are allergic to those). It does not surprise me that The dance was learned in Baia Mare – really a small city originally of German and Hungarian origin, whereas Dragomirești and the other location are both villages in the Iza valley, with wooden churches and some log houses, still. You would be more likely to find good square dancing in Chicago than an Învârtita in Baia Mare.


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