Floricică Olteneasca – Romanian

Floricică Olteneasca (floh-rih-CHEE-kah ohl-teh-NEAHS-kuh) translates as “Little Floweret dance from Oltenia”, but the meaning should be taken more metaphorically than literally. Floricică is a genre of dances found in Oltenia & it’s eastern neighbour region, Muntenia. Floricică dances have almost nothing to do with flowers, more with blossoming in the sense of unfolding glory. Floricică is also a name for popcorn, for instance, and a pet name for a girl or woman, similar to “my little buttercup”.

Oltenia has MANY villages, and many different village versions of Floricică have been recorded by researchers. Floricică‘s range in difficulty from simple “everybody” dances to virtuoso figures used by Călușari — members of a fraternal secret society who practiced virtuosic, acrobatic dances used for healing and other ritual purposes. Nowadays, Călușari are almost exclusively performing groups, due to very little belief in, and demand for, their ritual powers. However Călușari remain icons of Romanian dance prowress.

Floricică Olteneasca is a very popular dance among recreational folk dancers – I have found 19 YouTubes of various groups from around the world – everywhere, it seems except Romania. Mihai David says he learned it while a member of the Romanian State Folk Dance Ensemble from 1963-65. Being a member of a State Ensemble in the Communist era meant being a highly trained professional, [likely beginning with ballet], performing choreographies created by professionals to maximize entertainment value, project the ideologies of the state, and maybe reflect dancing as recorded in village events. It’s unlikely Mihai actually choreographed this dance, but quite likely someone in the State organization did. When a very specific, difficult choreography, (Floricică Olteneasca), is named for an entire region (Oltenia) noted for its variety within a genre, I conclude the dance is probably an assemblage designed to show the best bits found in the region, possibly enhanced with the choreographer’s creations. Otherwise it would be named for the particular village from which it was observed.

Mihai David demonstrating his dance.
Mihai David & Israel Yakovee
Mihai David & Ira Weisbrud lead the line.
A detailed demonstration from Israel
Some tricky parts broken down
Music: Ion Constantinescu, drâmbă (Jaw harp), click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jew%27s_harp. Marin Cotoanță, cobză, (folk lute), click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobza.

Dance notes below found here: http://www.folkdance.com/LDNotations/FloricicaOlteneasca1987LD.pdf

COMMENTS:

John Uhlemann wrote:

Several “Floricica” dances have been taught in the US by various teachers. As you say, they are all different, the only common trait is that the music is all in 2/4. Some are even done across the Danube by the Vlachs near Vidin in Bulgaria. Yves Moreau taught one our group does. I think Mihai David did do some of the work choreographing this one (he definitely did on some others). The dance he taught can only be done to this recording because of the peculiarity of the melodic theme lengths, and would not have been done on stage to that recording. The recording he used is from an Electrecord LP of 1963: Muzică Populară Din Oltenia Și Muntenia. Label:Electrecord ‎– EPE 0107

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