Romania

Ardeleana din câmpie

The Ardeleana family of dances are couple dances done in column formation. Partners face each other in two parallel lines, as in American contras and English country dances. Ardelenele are prevalent in the western part of Romania and found mostly in the regions of Bihor, Arad, and Banat. There are many variations in the region of Banat: Poarga, Ardeleana Jute, Mânânelul and De Doi. Couple dances there are elegant and usually involve sequences where the play of arms, circle movements, patterns and turns (by the woman) are harmonious. The style is characterized by small steps with knees flexed and on the balls of the feet, producing an effect of light, flowing movement. Presented in 2007 by Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu. View the pdf here.

Braşoveanca

Braşoveanca is a couple dance with variations, some of which - including the one presented here - are mixers, where the dancers change partners. Mixers are very rare in the Romanian repertoire. This feature - changing partners - together with the melody, lead us to believe that this dance is an “adopted child” among Romanian dances. Nonetheless, if you are lucky enough to visit Braşov and get invited to a popular festivity, the residents will ask you to join in their typical dances, and Braşoveanca is sure to be one of them.

Presented in 2010 by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu. View the pdf here.

Clopoţelul

Pronunciation: kloh-poh-TSHEH-lool “Clopoţelul” means little bell.
Music: 2/4 meter Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu Romanian Realm Vol. 5, Band 3
Formation: Mixed circle of dancers facing ctr and hands joined in V-pos.
Steps & Styling: Grapevine:
Meas 1: Step L across in front of R (ct 1); step R to R (ct 2).
Meas 2: Step L across behind R (ct 1); step R to R (ct 2).
Meas 1-2 = one Grapevine.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2010. View the pdf here.

Coconiþa

Târnave is north of the county of Sibiu, on the Transylvanian Plain, between the two rivers in the region (Târnava Mica and Târnava Mare). Coconita falls in the category of women’s sung dances, very widespread in central Transylvania. It is a closed circle dance that generally moves in a clockwise direction. The CW direction indicates the archaic, ritualistic character of the dance. The verses sung are usually about marriage. The word coconia derives from cucoan (lady), referring to an elegant, noble, distinguished woman who may or may not be married.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2007. View pdf here.

 

Csíkszentdomokosi Cepper

The Cepper could be considered a new-style dance, probably developing in the 19th or early 20th
century. While this dance is only found in the village of Felcsik, in all likelihood it developed from a dance or dances adopted from the urbanizing Saxon-Germans of the region; possibly brought from the city of Brassov, where lads learning a trade would follow their apprenticeship. Interestingly, one of the tunes played for this lively dance is also found in the Rábaköz region of Hungary, which borders Austria and has a large Schwab-Germans influence.

Presented by Dénes Dreisziger and Gissella Santayana in 2010. View pdf here.

Csíkszentdomokosi Csárdás

A new dance style known as the “Csárdás” swept through Hungary in the 19th century, a time when the countries of Europe were building the notion of a national identity and arrived later in Transylvania. As a new national dance, the Csárdás also went a long way towards homogenizing the dances of regions, and thus had a negative effect on the diversity of Hungarian dance. It is for this reason that remote regions are interesting. While the Csárdás ostensibly took over, wiping out the existing turning-style couple dances, in reality the elements and motifs of the more archaic dances merged with the new fashion, creating an interesting and no-less-diverse fusion of new and old. The Csíkszentdomokosi Csárdás, preserved to this day among the Szeklers of the Hargita Mountains, is a classic and beautiful example of this phenomenon.

Presented by Dénes Dreisziger and Gissella Santayana in 2010. View pdf here.

Csingerálás

There is a practice among Hungarian folk dancers to study dances from original recordings of villagers dancing. Partly due to the popularity of the world-renowned Szászcsavás Band, there are many recordings of gypsy dancing from that village. However, for this dance, we chose to teach steps exclusively from a recording that can be found on YouTube. We hope you refer back to that recording to learn and perfect this dance. The recording is of the musicians of the Szászcsavás Band dancing with their wives. In general, we are teaching the dance as done by Levente Mezei and his wife, found starting at 1 minute 50 seconds into the recording.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0swGFtHVaE&feature=related Please note that this physically and mentally challenging dance will be taught at an advanced level.Please note that this physically and mentally challenging dance will be taught at an advanced level.

Presented by Dénes Dreisziger and Gissella Santayana in 2010. View pdf here.

 

Danţ din Groşi

Many ethnographers and folklore specialists claim that couple dances originated in Scandinavia. Danţ din Groşi seems to be a perfect example in support of this theory. The dance’s two parts are clearly reminiscent of typical elements in Nordic dances, namely the promenade and the pivot turns. This dance from Maramureş, however, is distinct in that it is led by a particular couple who signals when to change figures and decides how long the dance
will last. The dancers liven up the dance by shouting (strigaturi) and whistling (fluierături), creating a festive, joyful atmosphere. Maramureş, in North-western Romania, is a focus of great interest to folklorists since traditions have survived in this region and continue to be preserved with utmost authenticity. Groşi is a commune located five kilometers southeast of Baia Mare, the capital of Maramureş. It is made up of three villages: Groşi, Ocoliş and Satu Nou De Jos. The locality of Groşi was certified in 1411, but its first inhabitants were there long before that. Legend has it that centuries ago, the area was covered by oak forests, the impressive trees having thick trunks. The forests served to shelter the inhabitants and hide them from barbarians. A 300-year-old oak tree stands at the entrance of the village of Groşi in honor of the ancient forests. A law to protect the tree is in force.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2008. View pdf here.

Di doi

Traveling across the Carpathian Mountains from west to east, then following the road through the Bicaz Gorges, one arrives in Cengăi (Csango) territory, that is, the area of Ghimeş-Făget. Some 5000 people make up this ethnic Catholic minority. Their history and identity are somewhat confusing since many contradictory theories about them exist, colored by nationalist ideals. Nonetheless, most specialists seem to agree that these are a people who
profess the Catholic religion, live in Moldavia, and originally came from Transylvania. The Csango have a rich folklore reflecting their make-up: half Hungarian, half Romanian. They speak a Hungarian dialect that even Hungarians find hard to understand. They wear costumes that are almost identical to the Romanian costumes found in the neighboring area. Their dances evoke the simplicity and energy of people who work the land. Di doi is how the standard Romanian de doi (deh doy) is pronounced in some areas of Moldavia. Di doi, which
means for two, is a dance in two parts. The chorus is done in a closed circle (Hora) and the figures are done as a couple dance. The same basic step is used throughout, to the particular rhythm of Quick-Slow-Quick-Slow-Slow. This step is found in two other dances from northern Muntenia (Breaza and Ungurica).

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2008. View pdf here.

Hora lui Şerban

The most popular and widespread dances in Romania are known as Hore (plural of Hora). They are found everywhere in the country, although they take on different forms. Sometimes they’re danced only by men, only by women, or by both; sometimes the circle moves clockwise, sometimes counter-clockwise; and so on. The Hore from Banat are danced in an open circle and are led by the first dancer. The leader decides and signals when to change sequences.
Romanians are jovial and enjoy a good joke. They love to party and will find many pretexts to celebrate, to get together with friends and have a good meal, drink, sing and, it goes without saying, dance. At present, wedding celebrations lasting more than three days are unfortunately almost a thing of the past (except in a few villages where everyone pitches in to make the event a memorable one), and the opportunities to invite a band to play at a festivity are becoming rare. However, music is still ever-present in the more economical form of hiring a disc jockey for the night. Contemporary popular musicians and singers are heavily influenced by western countries and electronic instruments abound. Thus rhythms and arrangements have taken on a more modern air, although many have retained the flavor and sound of traditional Romanian music. Now it’s not unusual to see Romanians spontaneously dance their traditional steps to the music of the day. Hora lui Şerban is an excellent example of this new form of urban folklore.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2008. View pdf here.

Hora şchioapă

Hora, plural Hore (same reading as Greek Horae), is the name of an ancient circular dance, which survived up to now days in Romania. In the ancient times, naked women danced it. In Romania three clay depictions were found of this dance, two of them having five dancers and one with six dancers. The last one, which is the most famous, was found at Bodesti-Frumusica, in Moldavia. All of them are dating from 4000–3000 BC. The word şchioapă means limping and this dance is a great example of very old Hore.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2008. View pdf here.

Hora Din Moldova

This is a dance in the Moldovan style choreographed by Roberto Bagnoli. The song is sung by
Moldovan singer Nelly Ciobanu and was the Moldovan entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009.
Pronunciation:  HOH-rah DEEN mohl-DOH-vah
Music:  2/4 meter  Ethnic Festival 2011 CD, Track 2
Formation:  Mixed circle, facing center, hands held in V-position.

Presented by Roberto Bagnoli in 2011. View pdf here.

Hora nevestelor

This dance comes from the village of Roia de Seca, in the county of Alba, in central Transylvania. Alba borders on the north with the countyofClujand on the southwiththat ofSibiu.It covers 6231 km, that is,2.6 percent of the total area of Romania. The capital city is Alba-Iulia (73,000 inhabitants) and was, for a period in the past, the national capital.
Hora nevestelor din Roia de Seca belongs to the category of women’s dances generally referred to as Purtata fetelor. These dances are known by different names, however, depending on where they are danced. For example, in the villages of Cpâlna and Feisa, it is called Purtata; in the village of Crciunel, it is known as Btut and in Roia de Seca, Hora nevestelor, as mentioned. The term neveste means “married women.” Thus in Roia de Seca, traditionally, only married women did the dance. Originally the song was sung a cappella. Nowadays one or two musicians from the local area accompany the dancers.

Presented by Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu in 2007. View pdf here.

Hora nuntaºilor

The word nuntaºilor¸ means wedding guests. Whether in western Romania (Banat) or any other region in the country, marriage is a commitment that still today is an important stage in people’s lives. Marriage is synonymous with a multitude of rituals and customs, which vary from region to region, but everywhere weddings are always celebrated with a lot of spirit and given much importance. Due to the significance of the event, everyone prepares for it long in advance.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2007. View pdf here.

Hora pojorenilor

Hora (plural Hore; same as Greek Horae), is the name of an ancient circule dance which has
survived up to today in Romania. In the ancient times, naked women danced it. In Romania three
clay depictions of this dance were found, two of them showing five dancers and one showing six
dancers. The last one, the most famous, was found at Bodesti-Frumusica in Moldavia. All of them
date from 4000–3000 B.C. The village of Pojorâta is in the region of Bucovina, at the foot on Mount Raru, in the department (judeţul in Romanian) of Suceava. The village, seven kilometers west of the city of Câmpulung Moldovenesc, stretches along a valley of beautiful landscapes.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2010. View pdf here.

Hora veche

Pronunciation:  HOH-rah VEH-keh
Music:  4/4 meter  Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu Romanian
Realm, Vol. 6, Track 9
Formation:  Mixed closed circle, body facing slightly diagonally to the right, hands joined in
W-pos. Joined hands make small, delicate circular motions throughout the dance.
Meas  4/4 meter  Pattern

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2012. View pdf here.

Joc în trei

This dance is from the mountains in Banat, Romania. It consists of two dances:  Brâul and De doi.
Pronunciation:  ZHOHK yoon TREH-EE
Music:  7/16 meter, 2/4 meter  Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu Romanian Realm Vol. 6, Track 11
Rhythm:  First dance: 7/16 counted 1-2-3 1-2 1-2 or 1-2-3 or SQQ. Second dance: 2/4
Formation:  Scattered threesome sets (two women and one man in small closed circles) facing
center. Hands joined in V-pos.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2012. View pdf here.

Kerekes

The name of this dance is derived from the word “kerek” meaning round. This is one of a grouping of dances from Gyimes collectively known as the “Aprók” (little) dances. This kind of archaic circle dance can no longer be found in most of the regions where Hungarians live. Opinion differs as to whether it exists in Gyimes because the Csángo people learned these dances from neighboring Romanians or whether they kept this earlier style of dancing. In other Hungarian regions, this dance style was lost when the wave of couple dances arrived. The archival footage we used to recreate this dance was collected in 1980 in Gyimes by Gyorgy Martin, et al.

Presented by Dénes Dreisziger and Gissella Santayana in 2010. View pdf here.

Párnás (Elvesztettem zsebkendömet)

This dance is danced in a circle formation with one person inside the circle looking for a partner while waving the handkerchief. This person chooses a partner and they both kneel on the kerchief and kiss, at which point the musicians make funny sounds with their instruments. The newly formed couple now dances as described below in the center of the circle. The person who was chosen is then the next one to look for a partner while the first person joins the circle. The circle changes direction each time a new couple kneels to kiss.

Presented by Dénes Dreisziger and Gissella Santayana in 2010. View pdf here.

Periniţa

Periniţa (translation: the little pillow) is a distinctive Romanian dance of the kiss. Actually, this traditional dance is the most famous dance of the repertoire. Its origin is very old and comes from the south of the country. This version of Periniţa is composed of a Sârba dance (with three basic figures) done while dancing in a mixed circle. It should be noted that the Periniţa, from region to region, will vary. To clarify exactly what defines a Periniţa, one need only look at the story of the dance rather than the steps; in which alternately men and women pick their partners from the circle of dancers. A brief exchange (to be decided by the dancers) and a kiss upon the dance floor while the couple kneels in the middle of the Sârba on a little pillow or an embroidered handkerchief. Examples of this brief exchange could be, a short swirl, a little waltz or whatever comes to mind. Meanwhile, all the other dancers are performing the choreographed sequence. After the kissing, the last person chosen will choose a new partner, while his former partner takes his place in the Sârba. Periniţa was traditionally performed on the night of the New Year or was the last dance of a wedding celebration. Now, each happy event may include it.

Presented by Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu in 2008. View pdf here.

 

Purtatã de pe Mureº

Purtatã and De-a Lungu belong to the same family of dances. They are the oldest couple dances from Transylvania. The first traces of them go back to the 17th century. A number of specialists say that in all likelihood they descend from La Polonaise. It is thought that couple dances began to spread across Central and Northern Europe in the 16th century. In Romania, they didn’t reach Valachia, in the southern part of the country, since the Carpathian  Mountains—a natural barrier—and the Ottoman occupation would have limited their expansion.
Initially, Purtata was a procession associated with wedding ceremonies. Its purpose was to solemnly introduce all the participants and wedding guests, to make official who would dance with whom (especially the singles!), and to have everyone proudly show off all their finery.
As time went on, Transylvania’s repertoire was enriched with many couple dances. Each one had an important place and was danced in a precise order during the evening, in keeping with local traditions. Nonetheless, either Purtata or De-a Lungu continues to be the opening dance at all festivities in the region.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2007. View pdf here.

 

Sántanémetes

The name of this dance, “Sántanémetes,” (a.k.a. Németes) literally means “Limping German.” This is one of a group of dances from Gyimes collectively known as the “Aprók” meaning “little” dances. Some of them, such as this dance, have Saxon origins. The archival footage we used to recreate this dance was collected in 1980 in Gyimes by Gyorgy Martin and others.

Presented by Dénes Dreisziger and Gissella Santayana in 2010. View pdf here.

 

Sârba bãtutã

The region of Iasi is in the center of Moldavia. Many dances of the type known as Sârba bãtutã are found there: Sârba de la Sticlãria, Sârba-n ciobãn㺠ªârba de la Flãmânzi, etc. The main feature of these dances is dynamic, quick footwork together with much stamping.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2007. View pdf here.

Sârbeasca

The historical territory of Banat, located in South-eastern Europe, now covers three countries: Serbia (Baham, Banoniva or Banate), Hungary (Bánát or Bánság) and Romania. Its historical capital (Timiºioara), along with two-thirds of its territory, is in Romania today. Banat comes from the word ban.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2007. View pdf here.

Te aven baxtale

In Romania Gypsies are mentioned for the first time in the 16 century in Walachia. From there they migrated to Transylvania and later into West Europe. It is interesting to know that Gypsies in Romania were slaves until the nineteenth century.
Pronunciation: teh ah-VEHN BAHF-tah-leh
Music:  Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu Romanian Realm Vol.1, Band 4
Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu, 60th Stockton Folk Dance Camp, Band 5 2/4 meter
Formation:  Mixed circle or couple or individual, arms free, facing center.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2007. View pdf here.

Ţigăneasca din Arad

Romanians have danced Coceks from ancient times, but without knowing it. They call them by different name—Maneaua, Dana, Lăutereasca and Ţigăneaşte, for example. There is, however, one major characteristic that sets them apart from Cocek dances and that is they are done without ever holding hands. They may or may not have a leader. Arad is one of the 41 judeţe or administrative divisions of Romania. This department is located in the western part of the country, neighboring on Hungary (to the west) and the judeţe of Bihor (to the north), Alba (to the east), Hunedoara (to the south-east) and Timiş (to the south). Arad straddles two regions, Transylvania and Banat. The first documentary reference to the area dates back to the year 1028. The seat of this judeţ bears the same name. The prosperous, modern city of Arad is an industrial centre and an important rail transportation hub because of its location. It is an interesting place to visit because of its many remarkably beautiful buildings and diverse
architectural styles reflecting the influences and invasions it was subjected to over the centuries: the Mongol invasion of the Kingdom of Hungary (1241), the Ottoman Empire occupation (1551), domination by the Austrian Habsburg monarchy (1699). The population is made up mostly of people of Romanian origin and also of different ethnic groups (Hungarians, Rom, Germans, Serbs) who enrich the local folklore with their traditions.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2008. View pdf here.

 

Turceasca

Every city, large or small, in southern Romania has one or more poor quarters where the Rom live. These neighborhoods are better known as Mahalas. In the bustling Mahala with its eastern air and many merchant stalls, swarms of boisterous children take over streets and lanes with their games. Elderly women (babele) sit outside their houses, ever on the watch so as not to
miss any goings-on in the neighborhood's social life. Above all, imbued in the fabric of the Mahala are the music and festivities of the Rom. The most incredible parties, which may last up to three days, may be organized around a tape player on the corner of a lane or a world renowned taraf (band of musicians) - and there, it goes without saying, dance takes centre stage. Whether spontaneous or planned well in advance, these parties feature, among others, such standards as Hore, Sârbe, Bâtute and Manele. Turceasca falls in the last category, which is currently the most popular type of dance.

Presented by Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu in 2008. View pdf here.

Tu Romnie

This is a dance choreographed by Bianca de Jong, in the Rom (Gypsy) style to the music of Fanfare Ciocarlia.
Pronunciation:  TOO rohm-NYEH
Music:  2/4 meter  Ethnic Festival 2011 CD, Track 1
Formation:  Mixed circle, facing center, hands free almost in W-pos,

Presented by Roberto Bagnoli in 2011. View pdf here.

Változtatós

This dance bears some resemblance to musical chairs. There is an odd number of dancers on the floor and one broom! While the music plays, couples dance as below. When the music stops, everyone must find a new partner as quickly as possible. The person left without a partner will have to dance alone with the broom. The person with the broom can dance a similar dance holding the broom upside-down, pretending the broom is his or her partner, or the person may choose to use the stomping steps described in the Cepper dance.

Presented by Dénes Dreisziger and Gissella Santayana in 2010. View pdf here.