Eleno Mome (L*), Elenino Horo – Bulgaria

*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.

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


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-7A because it follows the 2-to-the-right, 1-to-the-left Taproot pattern, and I hear 7Additive or Aksak beats.  [for more details on Aksak, click https://folkdancefootnotes.org/begin/the-taproot-family-t-4-t-6-t-8-t-7u-t-9u-t-11u/].  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

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: