What was I thinking?!!!!! I had just written this post, outlining how Katerina mome was a Song that became associated outside of Bulgaria with a Bulgarian dance Arap, and yet I labeled it a 1st G dance! Nope – it’s a Song! Arap is the 1st G dance. For my explanation of this hair-splitting, see https://folkdancefootnotes.org/dance/a-real-folk-dance-what-is-it/1st-generation-dances/katerino-mome-ventsis-arap-pirin-bulgaria/
Katerino Mome – the Songs
There are several songs named Katerina Mome – here’s one called Katerina Mome Sevda Golema that appears to have a dance attached.
There is also a more modern Katerino Mome song, (written by Tatiana Sarbinksa) from the town of Rila in Pirin, the Macedonian region of Bulgaria. John Uhlemann (see post below) says this Katerino Mome was composed “less than 50 years ago”, which makes it a ‘folk’ song on the level of ‘Blowin in the Wind’ or ‘If I Had a Hammer’.
The Sarbinska Katerino Mome is a big hit song with many YouTubes of the music by both traditional and modern singers. For lyrics, click https://folkdancefootnotes.org/music/lyrics-english-translations/katerino-mome-english-lyrics/ Also see bottom of this posting. For sheet music, click https://folkdancefootnotes.org/music/sheet-music/katerino-mome-sheet-music/
Katerino Mome – the Dance?
I can find no Bulgarian YouTube examples of ‘village’ dancing to Katerino Mome. What dancing I can find is of costumed dancers providing movement to singers, or the song as background to various choreographies, including ‘folk’.
The Katerino Mome – ARAP connection
In 2006 Erik Bendix introduced a dance at Stockton called Katerino Mome, said to be learned by ‘Ventsi’ when he was lead dancer of the Pirin Ensemble, the same group seen in the YouTube above. Bendix says this dance is also called “Arap” (Arab). So as a dance, this choreography has become known as “Ventsi”s Arap”.
In Bulgaria the dance is more commonly known as Arap horo, or by another song, Neveno Mome.
John Uhlemann says: “Katerino Mome is a song, to which this all-purpose Balkan dance [Arap] has been fitted. It only became a dance name after it was introduced by folk dance teachers, and was around a long time before Katerino Mome was composed less than 50 years ago.”
Composed by Tatiana Sarbinska.