Eleno Mome, Elenino Horo – Bulgaria

Eleno Mome is a classic example of how Balkan rhythms don’t fit neatly into Western notions of what constitutes a beat.  My not-too-trained ear hears this rhythm as Slow, Slow, Quick-Slow, or 1,2,1,2,1,1,2, or 7 beats.  However the 2008 notes put out by the Folk Dance Federation of California

http://www.folkdance.com/LDNotations/ElenoMome2008LD.pdf

says “Musicians may select meter 7/8 (2,2,1,2), 11/16 (3,3,2,3), 12/16 (4,3,2,3), 13/16 (4,4,2,3) or in between.”  The notes agree that all those combinations sound like Slow, Slow, Quick-Slow.

To me what’s important about Eleno Mome is how it is a variation of the Taproot family.

I call it a T-7U because it follows the 2-to-the-right, 1-to-the-left Taproot pattern, and I hear 7 Uneven beats.  Also, Eleno Mome contains the basic T-6 Taproot pattern of 3 pairs of steps – S, S, S, __, S, __. In this case the __ is a hop on the weighted foot, AND [at the same time] a kick with the unweighted foot.  So the pattern then becomes S,S, S,hk, S,hk.  However there’s an additional spice – after each pair, a side-behind pair is inserted.  So the dance becomes S,S,side-behind; S,hk,side-behind; S,hk,side-behind. That’s three 7-count (Slow, Slow, Quick-Slow) pairs.  The Quick-step is always the side-step.

It’s still popular in Bulgaria and Macedonia today

 

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