Shibolet Basadeh – Israel

Shibbolet Basadeh is a song; music and lyrics written by Matityahu Weiner Shelem (1904 – 1975). Shibbolet Basadeh translates as “sheaves of grain in the field”. For the lyrics, see https://folkdancefootnotes.org/music/lyrics-english-translations/shibolet-basadeh-lyrics/

Israelis seem to consider this a klezmer tune, as it appears in several medleys.

CIRCLE DANCE

At least 3 dances have been choreographed to the tune. In the mid-1940’s, Lea Bergstein created a non-partner circle dance. In her words “This dance is performed during the Omer ceremony in Israel, and is a revival of an ancient festival on Passover, when the first sheaves of barley were cut in the fields and presented to the Holy Temple.”

According to Ron Houston’s 2008 Folk Dance Problem Solver, Bergson’s original dance notes state hands should be held normally down at sides. He goes on to say the current palm-to-palm hand hold started appearing in dance descriptions in the 1960’s, and that he’s never seen any hold other than palm-to-palm. The YouTubes below show that hold. However each YouTube has introduced an ‘innovation’ not in the original notes.

Here the original 3 side step-closes (before the side step-pivot) has been reduced to one.
Here we have the original 3 side step-closes, but a clap has been added.

COUPLE DANCE

In the late 1956, (according to the website Israel Dances) Yonatan Karmon choreographed a couple version to faster music, here recorded and demonstrated by his song and dance troupe.

Here’s Karmon’s couple version of Shibbolet Basadeh, starting at 4:29
It’s quite popular in Israel

CHILDREN’S DANCE

The third dance, choreographed by Sarah Levi Tanai, can be found here: http://folkdancemusings.blogspot.com/2018/12/shibolet-basadeh-levi-tanai-circle.html

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