Alunelul Batut (1*) – Romania

*1st Generation dance. A dance that developed in a traditional way – not ‘taught’ by a teacher or choreographer, but ‘learned’ by observing and imitating others in your “village”, where the village’s few dances were the only dances anyone knew. It usually is ‘generic’ – the dance pattern is fairly simple and not tied to any particular piece of music. The dance phrase may or may not match any musical phrase, but the music’s rhythm must be suitable for performing the footwork. This dance may have many variations, but they’re performed at the whim or inspiration of the leader or (sometimes) any other dancer so long as it doesn’t interfere with the flow of neighboring dancers. For more, click here, here, and here.

Alunelul (ah-loo-NEH-loo) is commonly thought to mean “little hazelnut tree”, but more likely means “John’s Dance” (see Alunelu(l) under 1st Generation Children’s dances).  It refers to a children’s folk song by that name, and also to a family of dances from Oltenia, characterized by short lines with shoulder or back basket holds, and crossing and stamping steps.   It seems every village has its own version of an Alunenul.  “Alunelul Batut” means “stamping Alunelul”, and is typical.

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Here’s a contemporary suite of Alunelul moves.

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