Vulpiță, (Vulpiuță) 2nd G – Oltenia, Romania

Vulpiță, formerly Vulpiuță (vool-PEE-tsuh), “little female fox”*, is to me one of the most durably popular and exciting dances in the recreational folk dance repertoire. I love it! *(Current Romanian YouTubes seem to suggest that Vulpiță also has the more adult meaning of ‘vixen’.) I’m calling it a 2nd Generation dance, though I believe it’s related to a 1st Generation Vulpiță for which I can find some documentation but no YouTube examples. I have seen only one YouTube named Vulpiță being danced in what appears to be Romania. It’s in a modern ‘club’ setting by what I judge to be a performing group in ‘civilian’ clothes, dancing to recorded music.

The dance and accompanying recording are identical to the performance below by a Romanian performing group in Boulder, Colorado.

Which is identical to this one by recreational dancers from Tucson, Arizona.

And this one from Israel..

This one with slightly different music from the Netherlands

And this German version with live music, where smoothing out the rhythm produces a slightly different dance, even if the steps are the same.

There’s a standardization here, of both footwork, and especially recorded music (only one arrangement, almost identical recordings) that points to a recording to which a choreography was set. There are no ‘village’ YouTubes of weddings, etc to live music.

Nick Green and Liz Mellish, [whose excellent website on Romanian and Bulgarian culture and dances can be found here https://eliznik.org.uk/], told Ron Houston that noted Romanian dance researcher Georghe Popescu-Județ, collected a dance called Vulpiuță on March 26, 1952, from 53-year-old Tomiță Marin in Cârna-Băilești, Oltenia. Popescu-Județ says variations of Vulpiuță existed in nearby Bârca, Bistreț, and Segarcea.

Băilești, pop. 17,500, Dolj County, Oltenia region. Cârna, pop.1,400, is nearby, as well as Bârca, Bistreț, and Segarcea.

Popescu-Județ published a 20-measure version of Vulpiuță in 1959 in Romania in Jocuri Popular Olteneasca, V.2. For that version, click https://folkdancefootnotes.org/dance/a-real-folk-dance-what-is-it/1st-generation-dances/vulpita-vulpiuta-1st-g-oltenia-romania/

The 2012 Problem Solver goes on to say Nick Green and Liz Mellish (above) “reported learning an Oltenian Vulpiuțele from the old choreographer Gavril Ghiur from Maramureș (a region in far northern Romania), suggesting that Oltenian “fox” dances might have been part of the dance repertoire taught to Romanian regional choreographers in the 1950’s and 1960’s.”

Sunni Bloland began teaching a Vulpiuță in the USA around 1975. She learned it from Dutch instructor Marius Korpel, whom Ron Houston suspects learned it from Theodor Vasilescu. The most common recording used is from a Dutch compilation album on the Nevofoon label of Romanian recordings, compiled by Korpel & Vasilescu. Vasilescu was a pupil of Popescu-Județ.

Found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i534WDogOa4 If you click the link, it’ll take you to the YouTube site. On the lower right of the picture is a gear symbol. Click it and you can choose how you want to vary the playback speed. .5 is half speed.
The Nevofoon recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UTzvXFmh-4
Dance instructions say “Slow record slightly”
Vasilescu Vulpiță. 32 measures.

ABOVE: Vulpiuță, as taught by Vasilescu. Each section consists of 8 measures, matching music phrases.

For sheet music, click https://folkdancefootnotes.org/music/sheet-music/vulpita-sheet-music/

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