Hora de mână, Hora de mînă, Hora Banateana, Hora din Banat, Joc din Banat – Romania. Staro Vlaško, Serbia
Hora de mână (current) and Hora de mînă (Communist era) – two ways of spelling the Romanian word for “hand”. “Handhold hora”, or “Hora by the hand”. That’s a pretty broad category of dances – so broad as to be almost meaningless. Beware, there are MANY Romanian dances called Hora de mână! Anca Giurchescu with Sunni Bloland, in their landmark book Romanian Traditional Dance note: “Women’s Hora de mînă (by the hand) are represented in numerous old church frescoes and paintings (Bobulescu, C. 1939).” That implies Hora de mână has been around a long time and also, the existence of non-women’s Hora de mână – men’s lines and/or mixed lines. Today in Romania, mixed lines predominate.
The most common Hora de mână – a.k.a. Hora Banateana, Hora din Banat, Joc din Banat – S, S, QQ, S,
Most wedding parties in the Banat feature a Hora de mână, also known as Hora Banateana, Hora din Banat, Hora Banat, Joc din Banat – the Banat version of the pan-Romanian Hora Mare. Note the basic pattern is a S,S,QQ,S, walk; also known by dance scholars as devojačko. See my posting on Uneven Walking for more examples of this widespread pattern.
Still more dances named Hora de mână – 1st & 2nd Generation
Yes, I realize this is the same Hora Banateanabasic step as above, but this is the perfect illustration of the difference between a Living dance and a 1st Generation dance. Living dances usually contain only simple variations, or at least the kind of variation that doesn’t interrupt the flow of the line. Although the variations shown below may have been seen in Living situations, they can’t be performed without the entire line knowing in advance when the variation will occur and adjust accordingly. These variations can’t be performed without being rehearsed – thereby not anyone can spontaneously join the line. That won’t do in a wedding party, where the whole point is for everyone to be together, regardless of skill set, where they can talk to friends, see others and be seen, join and leave the line when they want. The pattern of a 1st Generation dance is fixed – it requires concentration to stay with the program – it’s no longer spontaneous, Living.
Jim Gold wrote: “Excellent research. . .and so interesting.”