Coconeasca (L*, 1*)- 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.

*1st Generation dance. A dance that developed in a traditional way – not ‘taught’ by a teacher or choreographer, but ‘learned’ by observing and imitating others in your “village”, where the village’s few dances were the only dances anyone knew. It usually is ‘generic’ – the dance pattern is fairly simple and not tied to any particular piece of music. The dance phrase may or may not match any musical phrase, but the music’s rhythm must be suitable for performing the footwork. This dance may have many variations, but they’re performed at the whim or inspiration of the leader or (sometimes) any other dancer so long as it doesn’t interfere with the flow of neighboring dancers. If a dance is no longer Living but there are records proving it was a traditional dance, especially if maintained by local performing groups, I consider it 1G. For more, click here, here, and here.

COCONEASCA Meaning & pronunciation

Anca Giurchescu, in Romanian Traditional Dances, (1992) translates Coconeasca as “The Young Lady’s Dance”.

Ioan Popescu, as quoted by Roberto Bagnoli (below), says Coconeasca means “Dance of the Nobles”

COCONEASCA – koh-koh-NEEAH-skah

COCONEASCA Music

The dance Coconeasca appears to have no particular songs or melodies associated with it. Every dance and instructor below uses different music, none of which are the melody below. However, all the music I’ve heard is in 2/4 time with a moderate tempo.

John Uhlemann says “listed as being played on fluier (small 6-holed wooden “notched flute”), but the recording itself is on the Romanian caval (long 5-holed notched flute, not the same as the Bulgarian end-blown type). Vlaicu is also proficient on that, according to my notes.” Oltenia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us6nVRWlTaE
Music for Alberto Bagnoli’s’s Coconeasca

Sheet music for a Coconeasca tune (unrelated to any of the YouTubes shown) found here: http://www.folkloretanznoten.de/Coconeasca.pdf

LIVING COCONEASCA Dance

I could find only one YouTube of Coconeasca danced at a “village” event.

A simple eight (slow) count figure, to Right & Left, best seen around 4:20. Singer Raihold Mitroi. Banat, 2017.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uoenkqrGKg

1G COCONEASCA

Coconeasca appears to have many local versions, none of which are very popular, possibly even extinct.

Anca Giurchescu version

Anca Giurchescu, in Romanian Traditional Dances, (1992) translates Coconeasca as “The Young Lady’s Dance” She observed a “group of young people” doing the dance in Traian, Teleorman county, in 1965, and has a film to prove it. Her book contains a description of the dance using Romania’s Rapid Dance Notation System, which I don’t understand.

Eric Bendix version

Erik Bendix leads a 2-part Coconeasca at Stockton. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_gbGwoPd50

Yves Moreau version

Yves Moreau taught a very different 3-part Coconeasca, using brass band music. Danced by Vlachs just over the Danube in Bulgaria. Notes below are from the 1976 Kolo Festival.

Stanevo, site of Yves Moreau’s observation of a village dance group

A video of Yves demonstrating Coconeasa and 19 other Bulgarian dances is on Volume 5 of his DVD series, also a companion CD of the music can be purchased from Yves at http://www.bourque-moreau.com/bali.html

Alberto Bagnoli version

Alberto Bagnoli leading the 3-part dance he credits to Ioan Popescu, 1988. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEPsDxe__To
Music for Alberto’s Coconeasca

COMMENTS:

John Uhlemann wrote: The Gheoghe Vlaicu recording on Youtube is listed as being played on fluier (small 6-holed wooden “notched flute”), but the recording itself is on the Romanian caval (long 5-holed notched flute, not the same as the Bulgarian end-blown type). Vlaicu is also proficient on that, according to my notes.

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