Friday, March 20, 2009

Don't miss Brazz Menazeri at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes on Friday, March 28, 8 p.m. Brass Menazeri is the Bay Area's premier Balkan brass band, specializing in the high energy music of Serbian Rom bands as well as the Greek and Macedonian border region. They combine new sensibilities, innovative arrangements, and original compositions with traditional Balkan repertoire - and the music will definitely get you up and dancing! I'll be offering a basic dance lesson at 7:30 p.m. (cocek, les noto, tsamikos). For tickets and directions, you can click on the link to the Dance Palace on this blog.

Wednesday, March 25, will be the last Point Reyes folk dance class in the current session. Next session will start on April 29. Classes in Petaluma continue as always on Monday evenings 7-9:15 p.m. during this time, but note that there will be no class on April 6. I'll be off dancing in Israel during the first two weeks of April, and hope to come back with a new dance or two when I return to class on April 13.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

In Petaluma, we'll continue to learn Gjusevska Rucenica in preparation for dancing it at the March 28 Balkan Party in San Rafael. The name means "little handerkerchief dance from Gjusevo." Yves Moreau learned the dance in Bulgaria, and introduced it to the U.S. in the late 1960's. The village of Gjusevo is in a high mountain region near the Yugoslav border, within the Sop ethnographic region. The rhythm is 7/16 (quick-quick-slow), and the styling is firm, sharp, and upright.

In the Point Reyes class, we'll be finishing up the last two classes of this session by reviewing and dancing Esmer (from Turkey), plus two lovely one-pattern dances from Greece: Mavramatia and Zagarisios. Mavramatia means "dark eyes", and is from Grecian Thrace - an interesting contrast to Targovskata.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

This week we'll be learning a new Turkish dance called Esmer, and continuing to dance and review Talima, a Bulgarian dance from the Dobruzha region. Video and music for both dances can be found at the Dunav website; there's a link to this wonderful folk dance site below.

Coming up this weekend: Marilyn Smith's folk dance party on Friday, March 13, 8 p.m. at the Santa Rosa Veteran's Building. The evening will feature live music by Turlu. This ensemble features musicians from other well-known world music ensembles including Kitka, Anoush, Westwind, and Trarnce Mission. Turlu means "mixture" or "melange in Turkish. The group includes percussionist Nuri Bal, violinist/vocalist Leslie Bonnett, accordionist Hudi Brenman, clarinetist Michael Matthews, and Shea Comfort on clarinet, duduk, kaval, laouto, and shvi.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This week we'll be going to Turkey to learn a new dance called Damat Halayi, which was another favorite from the Festival of the Oaks. If you'd like to take a look at the dance, go to YouTube where there are numerous versions ranging from schoolkids dancing to a costumed performance to what looks like a drunken version recorded on cell phone at a party.

For those of you who like to swing dance, be sure to make it to the Western Saloon on Highway One in downtown Point Reyes on Friday, May 6, 9 p.m., to hear (and dance to) the Eldon Leonard Band - the group features Bolinas local Tom Williard on drums.