Ciuleandra (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.

Ciuleandra is first and foremost a melody, often played instrumentally only. Also popular is a version where one or many individuals shout strigaturi. The most famous rendition of Ciulandra is a recording by famed Romanian singer Maria Tanase. A translation of her strigaturi (reproduced below) can be found here: http://virtualromania.org/music/maria/20.%20Ciuleandra.eng.html

Foaie verde siminoc,
Ţineţi Ciuleandra pe loc,
Şi-nc-odată mai băieţi,
Hop ş-aşa ş-aşa

Ţineţi-o flăcăi aşa,
Până n-ajunge puica,
Şi-nc-o-dată, mai băieţi,
Hop ş-aşa ş-aşa.

Întăriţi-o niţeluş
C-ajunge acuş-acuş,
Şi-nc-o-dată, mai băieţi
Hop ş-aşa ş-aşa.

Mai întăriţi-o de-un pas
C-ajuns şi n-a rămas
Şi-nc-o-dată, mai baieţi
Hop ş-aşa ş-aşa.

Două fire, două paie,
Luaţi Ciuleandra la bătaie
Şi-nc-o-dată, măi băieţi
Hop ş-aşa ş-aşa.

Tot aşa că nu mă las,
Că sunt cu puica pe-un pas,
Şi-nc-o-dată, măi băieţi
Hop ş-aşa ş-aşa.

Două fire, două paie,
Ia Ciuleandra la bătaie
Şi-nc-o-dată, mai băieţi
Hop ş-aşa ş-aşa.

Green leaf of ‘siminoc’,
Keep the circle in place,
One more time,boys,
Hop-and-so-and so.

Keep it like that, lads,
Until my darling catches up to me,
One more time,boys,
Hop-and-so-and so.

Strengthen it (fasten it) just a little,
She (‘puica’) is close to catch up with me,
One more time,boys,
Hop-and-so-and so.

Fasten it one more step,
she caught me up, but didn’t stay,
One more time,boys,
Hop-and-so-and so.

Two straws, two grains,
Let’s stomp* the Ciuleandra,
One more time,boys,
Hop-and-so-and so.

Keep it like that, don’t let it down,
‘Cause I’m on same step with my darling,
One more time,boys,
Hop-and-so-and so.

Two straws, two grains,
Stomp the Ciuleandra now,
One more time,boys,
Hop-and-so-and so.

Ciu 1st
Dance scene from the 1985 Romanian movie “Ciuleandra”
The entire movie

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