Brâul de la Făgăraș, update – Romania


2 thoughts on “Brâul de la Făgăraș, update – Romania

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  1. Thanks, John, for this fabulous information. So the Brâul de la Făgăraș music on the mp3-YouTube convert I posted (same as the Karen Faust post) – is that the Hațegana de la Mojna music you have? The wrong music sent to Sunni?


  2. I have seen the folklorist version of this in Romania and also had a short class in it here from a visiting Romanian group. They all agreed that what they saw American folk dancers do was not what was seen in Romania. The version i learned in the line in Romania followed the “chorus -> variation” pattern in most of your examples, but it was not an aerobic dance at all, the variations did not move from place and were not “virtuosic”. In fact , the in-place variations were all structurally the same; this means that you could do any of them you wanted, and not disturb the person next to you who might be doing something different. This is one of the hallmarks of a traditional dance. The music in all cases was the syncopated version you have. The regular 2/4 version danced to by recreational groups is not a Briul melody at all, the the result of Sunni Bloland being sent the wrong music (she told me so). She was sent a tape of a dance called “Hațegana de la Mojna”, a couple dance from the mostly German village of Meschen near Sibiu. (I had an opportunity to visit that village , which has a large fortified German church in the middle, in the 1970s.) I have the original recording of that tune on the Romanian label accidentally sent to Sunni. Sunni tried to correct the error by re-teaching the dance to the correct music, available on the Dutch folkdancer Neevofon label, but people had too much trouble with the rhythm, so I have never been to a group that used it (except ours, when the programmer was feeling sadistic – it goes through 3 times). The dance, of course, is not related to other Transylvanian dances, but evolved, as Sunni’s notes say in your article, from southern Romanian styles. I’m glad you posted these variants. The dance is done in a curved line/broken circle. All the other videos have the dance altered to keep the line facing the audience.


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