*1. As explained on the page “what is a Real Folk Dance“, a 1st Generation dance (1stG, a phrase coined by Don Buskirk) stems from a 1st Existence (a phrase coined by Joann Kealiinohomoku) situation. It was originally performed in a “society in which dancing constitutes part of the living tradition” [Kealiinohomoku] (not on a stage) by people who learned the dance informally – by mimicking, or from friends or relatives (not from a teacher in a classroom situation).
By my definition, no matter how “authentic” the steps or music are, their particular combination must arise from a 1st Existence situation to be called a 1st Generation dance. If later on that same dance is seen on a stage performed by people from another culture (2nd Existence), the dance is still 1stG.
Some 1stG dances are no longer performed in 1st Existence situations, even in their native land. Nevertheless they’re treasured in their home as part of their culture’s heritage, and are performed on stage by local dance troupes (2nd Existence). I think of them as museum pieces, but they’re still 1stG dances.
Still more recently, recreational folk dance groups have arisen in Balkan countries to teach traditional folk dances (1stG, from 1stE origins) to urban youth who are separated by a generation or more from their 1stE roots. They are taught these dances by graduates from state-sponsored folklore groups or dance troupes – formal instruction by teachers, a 2ndG method of learning – just like recreational dancers in the West. Nevertheless, because they’re learning 1stG dances from their own traditions, I still consider the dances they do 1stG so long as they can trace the (now extinct) dance to “the village”.
Bulgaria – Šopsko horo, шопско хоро, Šopsko za pojas
Šopsko horo means “choral dance of the Šop (Shope) region” – a pretty general term, considering the Šop region (the area around Sofia, the capital) has gobs of choral dances. However, Googling Šopsko horo, шопско хоро YouTubes gets pretty consistent results. Almost all the dances have a 10-measure pattern (2/4 time) consisting of two 5-measure sections, each section having the same change-of-weight pattern but with different variations. Since it isn’t quite the same steps to the left as to the right, dance scholars consider these dances asymmetrical. If the steps were the same to both left and right, the dance would be symmetrical, as in the Cigančica/Bugarka group.
Below is the simplest Šopsko horo. Start by seeing the whole dance, at 2:52.
At 0:29, 4 walking steps (2 measures) + 3 step-lifts. (3 measures) The 1st two step lifts have a dip, the 3rd is a leap-lick, but the weight changes remain the same.
At 0:45, a 4-step grapevine (2 measures) + 3 side-leans (3 measures) Again, same change-of-weight pattern as before.
At 1:42, 4 prancing steps (2 measures) + 2 step-hops and a leap-stamp (non-weighted) (3 measures), same change-of-weight pattern
At 2:02, A prancing grapevine (2 measures) + 3 prancing step-hops (3 measures), same change-of-weight pattern
Below, a more complicated variation of the same basic change-of-weight pattern. Note the last 2 two-steps (RL,R, LR,L,) are just variations on R,Rhop, L,Lhop). They take the same amount of time and start and end on the same foot.
Recreational folk dancers may know this dance as Šopsko za pojas
СЕЛСКО “Rural” Sopsko horo.
Below we have what seems like a different dance, but it just starts in a different place. Instead of 3 step-lifts at the end of the 5-measure phrase, it has 2 at the beginning and 1 at the end (with the 4 walking steps in the middle). The second 5-measure phrase is the same, but with 1 step-lift at the end or the previous phrase running into the 2 at the beginning of this one, it appears to be 3 in a row. And so it will continue until the last phrase of the dance. Thus, after starting, the ‘rural’ dance below will have the same change-of-weight pattern as the ‘little’ dance above. When the music speeds up, however, the dance switches to a 12-measure pattern.