Horehronsky Čardáš – Slovakia; Another Update

Click: https://folkdancefootnotes.org/dance/a-real-folk-dance-what-is-it/2nd-generation-dances/horehronsky-cardas-slovakia-update/

One thought on “Horehronsky Čardáš – Slovakia; Another Update

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  1. Yes, Horhronsky Čardaš (thanks for spelling it correctly) is a choreography for American folkdance groups, but it is not defective because it is a circle dance from Women. “Csárdás” is a dance rhythm using the so-called “Verbunkos” style, with the emphasis on every beat (until the fast part). Before that, most 2/4 dance music in Hungary was “tempo giusto” (as Bartók pointed out) – what some groups would call “ugrós” rhythm (think “olahos”). The Hungarian Karizázó (women’s circle dance) was present for hundreds of years, usually done to singing alone. The Slovak equivalent was the Karička (from the Indo-European root word for wheel) (think of the recreational folk dance “kalina”). Many of these were in Csárdás rhythm because that was the new style190 years ago, and there were many songs in that style. All the songs in that style could be danced as couple dances or using the same steps in the circle. Unlike Scandinavian dances (turning dances with an interlocking step that requires 2 people), Slovak and Hungarian couple dances are “circle dances for 2 people”, so in Slovakia, as in Hungary, the Karička could use Čardaš music for circle dances. I saw several such when I was at the Vychodna festival in Slovakia years ago.

    Finally, the first example you gave is of a dance from Terchova. While in the political borders of Slovakia, Terchova is not in an ethnographic zone with any other part of Slovakia / it is Tatra Mountaineer culture – the same as The Góral folks in Poland. (Terchova is in an island of that culture a bit south from the border, in the Mala Fatra). Note the instrumentation, costumes, and the music in “lydian mode” (the so-called Highlander scale) – a major scale with a raised 4th , making it sound “out of tune”. Check out dance youtubes from the Podhale region of Poland to see what I mean. Try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1k7ECTsSY4&pbjreload=10 – this is far from the best, but at 1:20 the dance starts and the couple turning step is the same as you showed. The old films from this region, from both sides of the Polish /Slovak border, are revelatory. These folks speak the same dialect – years ago I was on a raft on the Bialy Dunajec river, which is the border up there, and the raftsmen from each side would trade jokes at each other.


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