Pravoto oro (1*), правото оро – North Macedonia

*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.

Pravoto oro – the Music

Somewhere between 1955 and 1960, Pece Atanasovski recorded a tune he called Pravoto oro (правото оро in cyrillic). At that time Pece was a musician in the Macedonian state dance ensemble “Tanec”, travelling throughout the world with the group, including a trip to the United States.
Re-recorded by Siniša Grujoski (released 2009)

Pravoto oro – the Dance

Beginning in 1970, Pece and Dr. Živko Firfov (professor of ethnomusicology), held annual ten-day seminars each summer on the dances and songs and folklore of Macedonia at Oteševo at Lake Prespa. These seminars were attended by many folklore enthusiasts from North America, Western Europe, and Japan, including, in 1974, Tom Deering. Tom’s notes for Pece’s Pravoto oro can be downloaded here. In the notes, Tom describes an 8-beat Taproot dance, like my T-6 only beginning with 4 walking steps instead of 2, and including 4 variations. Tom writes that Pece claims “Pravoto is from central to southern Macedonia.”

I’ve googled Pravoto oro, in both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets, and have found almost nothing. No YouTubes of recreational folk dance groups, and only 2 (one Latin and one Cyrillic), of performing groups in North Macedonia. Both are doing a standard T-6 to the song Makedonsko devojče. That song was written in 1964 by Jonče Hristovski, and has become an unofficial national anthem for North Macedonia.

Yves Moreau has released a set of two DVD’s recorded between 1992 & 1995, of Pece teaching his dances, including one called Pravoto Lesnoto. It shows a standard T-6 basic step with variations similar to what Deering notated in 1974.
Petorka, Pajduško, and Pravoto (starts at 4:34).


Pravoto oro was likely a traditional melody which may have had a unique dance associated with it when Pece recorded it in the 1950’s. It may still be living in some obscure village in North Macedonia or among expats around the world, but I can find no documentation for its current life, other than its name, which is now associated with another song and a simpler dance.

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