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Israel & Early Israeli Dance

The dances of Israel have long been favourites among Recreational Folk Dance enthusiasts.  Yet, like the state of Israel itself, Israeli dances have, from their beginnings, been enveloped in controversy.  In many ways, the history of Israeli dance parallels the history of Israel itself. We all know that thousands of years ago Jews carved a... Continue Reading →

Gankino, Kopanitsa & more in 11/16 – Bulgaria

Gankino HoroGankino, Kopanitsa & more in 11/16 By Richard Unciano Text Reprinted  from Folk Dance Scene, July/August, 1991, Page 12. https://web.archive.org/web/20090519064413/http://www.phantomranch.net/folkdanc/articles/gankino-kopanitsa_ru.htm Text accompanying videos by Don Buskirk GANKINO HORO - ГАНКИНО ХОРО The Gankino (pronounced gahn-kee-noh), Kopanitsa (pronounced koh-pah-nee-tsah), and other dances in 11/16 meter range from the very basic to the foot-tangling complex and from... Continue Reading →

Halay – West Asia/Eastern Anatolia

Halay is a term that is used many ways by many different peoples.  In it's most general sense, Halay is applied to almost any line dance from Anatolia and other parts of the Middle East.  According to Wikipedia "The Turkish word Halay[2] is derived from Iranian Hālāy (هالای) meaning "to stand", "jump" and "dance".[citation needed] In Kurdish, it is known... Continue Reading →

Drmeš – Croatia

Croatia is an oddly shaped country, due to quirks of geography, history, and power politics.  Climate and terrain vary greatly, resulting in equally varied dance cultures. The regions shown on these maps as Inland or Continental Croatia, Slavonia, and Sirmia, are mostly fertile lowlands, home of the dance commonly called Drmeš (DRR-mesh). Drmeš is derived from... Continue Reading →

Romanian Dance Rhythms (uneven)

The vast majority of Romanian dances are in even rhythms - 2/4, 4/4, 8/8, 6/8, 12/8.  A characteristic feature of Romanian dance music is syncopation - jagged phrasing within those even rhythms.  Romanians so love their syncopation that occasionally they resort to uneven rhythms as well.  Romanian musicologists use the term aksak to refer to... Continue Reading →

Rhythms – Unusual, non-Bulgarian

A random collection of unusual rhythms. Remember, traditional Balkan musicians didn't count this way - they felt the beats intuitively, maybe thought to themselves quicks and slows, but didn't assign numerical values.  We westerners, who were raised with math-based musical notation, and are unused to irregular rhythms - this counting stuff is for our benefit.... Continue Reading →

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