Brâu de întorsură (L*)- Romania

*a Living dance is a 1st Generation dance that is still performed in the country of origin (or immigrant communities) as part of a social event like a wedding where others can participate (not for an audience) by people who learned the dance informally (from friends and relatives by observation and imitation, not in a classroom situation). For more information, click here and here.

According to the excellent website Eliznik – [click] Brâu is one of three major chain dance types known throughout Romania. [the other two being Hora and Sârba] Usually [but not always] a men’s-only dance with a fast-to-very-fast tempo, it was used to show off fancy footwork. Each village had its own version of the dance, many of which are nowadays danced only by local performing groups. It’s difficult to find ‘Living’ versions of Brâu, but I’ve stumbled across 6 different examples from the town [or named after the town] of Întorsura Buzăului, near Brasov, southern Transylvania. The music often alternates between a slow Taproot dance, increasing speed then switching into the Brâu. There is little formal choreography, just a 6-measure sequence of crossover steps and stamps, performed somewhat in unison, but really at the discretion of each dancer. Sometines shouts are used for emphasis, sometimes Strigaturi are added [see ]. One constant is the shoulder hold, done by men and women.

A weding party, band unknown.
Town of Întorsura Buzăului, pop. 7000
Band – Formatia Galant, from nearby Brasov
The band is Formația Elegant from nearby Brașov – Starts with Brâu de întorsură, then Ardeleana (starting 4:45)
The band is Formatia Select. Dances are: Sarba Zagonenilor, Chindia, Breaza, Brâu starts at 12:34, takes about a minute to kick into high gear.
Here the band ‘Argument’ starts with a Sârba, which is a fast Taproot dance.. The Brâu starts roughly around 11:30, with a taproot dance, then swithches into Brâu when the music speeds up. Notice the constant eye contact between the musician and the lead dancer.
A hot Sârba, then Brâu at 10:25


John Uhlemann wrote: Thanks for this – I am surprised someone has not taught it in the US. The opening 3-measure dance and what follows are, of course the same dance, with “part 2” being a highly substituted version of “part one”. Part 2 is part of a larger group of dances in southern Romania called “brîul pe șase” (“brâul pe șase” in the new orthography). as the name implies, they are all in 6 beat phrases, both the dance and the music.

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