*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.
Here’s a vocal by the Koushlev Sisters. The melody we use starts about 50 seconds in.
Here’s a more contemporary take –
The dance performed to this music was originally described by Boris Vulkov in the book Sbornik Bulgarski Folklorni Hora (p. 194, Sofia: Komitet za Izkustvo i Kultura Institut za Hudozhestvena Samodenyost 1970); and also by Boris Vûglarov in Bûlgarski narodni hora i tantsi (Sofiya:Meditsina i Fizkultura, 1976). I can find no YouTubes of the dance performed in Bulgaria.
In 1981 Yves Moreau brought his version of the dance to North America, using an instrumental-only recording.
A CD of this music and also a DVD of Yves demonstrating this and 19 other Bulgarian dances can be purchased from Yves directly by clicking the following link:
A distinctive feature of Minka is the women’s hand movements. The YouTube below does a pretty good job of demonstrating the basic hand movements, starting around the 50 second mark, although Yves’ DVD is definitive.
Other versions of Minka have been taught by Jaap Leegwater and Nina Kavardijkova.