I’ve discovered a place where folk dancing appears to be thriving among young people! Where? The Balkans! Seven years ago I started searching You Tubes from the Balkans, looking for examples of traditional dances still being performed in a “village” setting – (not on a stage) in street clothes, at parties, weddings, tavernas, etc. (I also include events at immigrant festivities abroad).
The number of “finds” seems to be growing. Whether there are more postings or I’m just getting better at finding them I can’t be sure. What is clear is that young people are enthusiastically dancing the old dances. Take my most recent find, Čačak.
For me to declare a dance “popular” I’ve decided I need at least 10 examples of similar (same basic pattern) dances in “village” settings. This particular 10-measure Čačak pattern is “popular” (12 examples). I also have examples of 8 (3), 11 (1), 12, (5) & 16 (1)-measure Cacaks, – 22 in all – though 10-measure is the most common.
Here’s the 10-measure pattern being taught in Bulgaria (Čačak Horo). Note the side-crosses at the beginning are crossed in front.
If you’d like to see more examples, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.