Brâuletul – Romania

Brâul (pronounced bree-oo) means “belt”, presumably because dancers used to hold on to belts while dancing. Brâul dances form one of the major dance families in Romania – originally men’s line dances.  They’re usually fast,  move to the right and left, and used to have a shoulder or basket hold,.  They may have syncopation, stamping, heel clicks, crossing, toe & heel actions.  Brâulet is a dance sub-category within Brâul (as is Alunelul), and Brâuletul is the dimunitive of Brâul.

Every village may have had its own special Brâul, the only types broadly known in Romania are Brâul pe Opt (in 8), and Brâul pe Sase (in 6), meaning either 8-measure or 6-measure dance or music phrases.  Here’s a Brâul pe Opt

Brâuletul (in the Communist era it was spelled Briuletul) was brought to North America by Alexandru David in 1978.  I can find no YouTubes of it being danced in Romania, but then again I can’t find many Brâul’s of any kind.

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