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La Masa Mare – Romania

La Masa Mare.   I like this dance for its sense of fun, but also because the recording is a great example of Strigaturi.  See Strigaturi The title literally means "the big table" but Romanians know it refers to the wedding feast set out on a big table, where people eat, drink, sing & dance till all hours... Continue Reading →


Roma are a very diverse people, due both to their diverse origins (see Roma or Gypsy - why 2 names & where do they come from?) and to the influence of the many places they settled.  Speaking of Romani music or dance is like speaking of Eurasian music or dance.  The excellent film Latcho Drom, which... Continue Reading →

Bulgarian Dance Rhythms (uneven)

Bulgaria is famous for dance rhythms featuring uneven beats.  Other Balkan countries also have some of these rhythms, but it is in Bulgaria that they are most common and intricate.  Uneven rhythms include 5/16, 7/16, 9/16, 11/16, 15/16, 18/16 (7/16+11/16), and 22/16 (9/16+13/16).   To be sure, the most common rhythm in Bulgaria is an even... Continue Reading →

Kefi – the Greek passion for enjoyment

Words Beyond Translation: Kefi Posted On November 30, 2017   Celinne Da Costa I experienced kefi before I even knew it was a word. Kefi accurately captures Greek culture as I’ve experienced it. The word roughly translates to: the spirit of joy, passion, euphoria, enthusiasm, exuberance, frenzy. It’s that overpowering emotion you have when you completely... Continue Reading →

Embroidery – Decoration or Magic?

From Embroidered Textiles by Sheila Paine, 1990 "It is sometimes hard for us to realize that within living memory people inhabited - and indeed some still do - a world they believed controlled by supernatural beings both good and evil.  Every spinney, every copse, every crossroads, every stream, every stone held its own spirit: every... Continue Reading →

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