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Geamparalele – Romania

GEAMPARALELE - Q,Q,S, As Rustemul is like Bulgarian Pajduško (both Q,S,), so is Geamparalele like Bulgarian Račenica (both Q,Q,S,).  Geamparalele (jahm-pah-RAH-leh-leh) is very much a living dance - especially in the (former Bulgarian) region of Dobrogea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26ytHrg4Q8E https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjdoWk1z4p4 Geamparalele seems to be not so much a dance as a rhythm applied to other dances.  In these two YouTubes, we see... Continue Reading →

Rustemul (1stG) – Romania

Rustemul (roo-STEH-moo) = the Rustem [from resteu, a kind of bolt used in yoking oxen].  A dance popular in the Danube Plain area of southern Romania (Oltenia, Muntenia).  It's a close cousin of the Bulgarian Pajduško, which is popular on the Bulgarian Danube Plain.  There are MANY Rustemuls in Romanian ethnographic records, though few of them are... Continue Reading →

Legnala Dana – Macedonian music, but whose dance?

Legnala Dana is certainly a popular Macedonian folk song.  I've found 11 YouTubes of its performance in Macedonia, plus a few others of its being performed in Poland, Croatia, USA, etc.  Here's an old TV clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSJGd3sMuyc Tanec, the Macedonian state dance troupe, made a recording, with added harmonies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxW7imrtnks In 1969 Atanas Kolarovski, former... 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 →

Fire Walkers – Greece & Bulgaria

March 21 (Western calendar - Jun 3, Orthodox calendar) is the celebration of of Saints Constantine and Helena. It is known in Bulgaria as the day to enact rituals to prevent hail, but more famously it is known as the date a few villages in Strandja, Bulgaria, and few others in Greek Macedonia enact the ancient... Continue Reading →

The Most Important Folk Dances

To me the most important folk dances are the ones you're most likely to encounter when dancing with "the folk".  If you met a Bulgarian on the street could you dance with him or her?  (Note: Not all Bulgarians are folk dancers, though probably a higher percentage than Americans who are square dancers). The following... Continue Reading →

ROMANI (Gypsy) MUSIC & DANCE

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 →

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