Schioapa (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.

Schioapa (shkew-AH-pah), “limping”, refers to two VERY different Romanian dances.

In 1979 Mihai David introduced this Schioapa, a dance he says is from Oltenia.

I can find no YouTubes of a Schioapa similar to this being performed anywhere in Romania, either on or off the stage.  However, in the definitive book (in English, anyway) Romanian Traditional Dance, by Giurchescu & Bloland (1995), Schioapa is listed as a dance common in Oltenia, and further states that it’s related to Calus rituals.

Here’s a YouTube of a Schioapa, from Cajvana, which is in northern Muntenia, (quite a distance from Oltenia).  It looks very different from Mihai’s dance.

It’s the only Romanian Schioapa YouTube I could find that wasn’t an example of the other Romanian Schioapa (also listed in Romanian Traditional Dance, & which is in the uneven 9/16 rhythm).  For the Living Schioapa popular in Romania today, see DANCE>3a.-LIVING DANCES>Schioapa.

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