Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Looking Like the Balkan Rockettes

We've learned two new Balkan dances with interesting and different spatial patterns, and when everyone's steps are synchronized they look quite wonderful! 

Milisso is a dance from the region of Thrace in Northern Greece danced in a circle but with a 10-measure pattern that describes a flat figure eight.

Kamay Verdum Yere is a Greek dance that comes from the Greek population that lived in Cappadocia (now in Turkey) until they were forced to leave during the 1923 population exchange. The dance is done facing counter-clockwise with the left hand on the right shoulder, which the person behind clasps with his/her right hand, thus making the dancers very close together. In the first pattern, everyone moves forward and leans out to the right on the third count; in the second pattern, everyone moves backwards. 

I learned both of these dances from Joe Graziosi at Balkan Music and Dance Camp this past summer. You can check out great videos of both dances in the "dance videos" section of this blog.

Our fall session continues on Mondays 7-9:15 p.m. through the first week in December. Beginners, newcomers, experienced dancers, all ages, drop-ins always welcome. And note that we will be hosting our annual Holiday Folk Dance Party with live music by Santa Rosa Vecherinka on Monday, December 9.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Monday night dancing in Petaluma returns on September 9! Classes are Mondays 7-9:15 p.m. from September 9 to December 9. Every evening starts with a beginner lesson at 7 p.m., followed by an intermediate lesson around 8 p.m., plus lots of time for requests and dancing to old/new favorites.

We'll learning some great new dances this fall including dances I learned at Balkan Folk Dance Camp, a few we danced this summer that folks have asked me to review, and some other dances I've just picked up at various dance venues: 

  • Selka, Cacak, and Nishki Cocek (Serbian dances from Vranje taught by Alex Markovic) 
  • Gaida Hor (a lovely Macedonian dance taught by Steve Kotansky)
  • Milisso, Vay Kalenin, and Kamay Vurdum Yere (Greek dances taught by Joe Graziosi)
  • Hora Veche, Alunelul de La Urzica, and Trei Pazeste Batrinesc (Rumania)
  • Ya Da Kalinushku Lomala (Russia)
  • Tervelska Raka (Bulgaria)
  • Shir al Etz, Zuz Mitzad Letzhad, and Achot K'tana Lanu (Israel).

Plus Gary Anderson will be teaching Triti Pati from Silven and Kapetain Vojvodo, two Bulgarian dances taught by Yves Moreau at this summer's Stock Dance Camp and Nadav Nur will be coming on October 14 to teach Valle e Rrajces, a great Albanian dance he learned from Steve Kotansky at Mendocino Folklore Camp.

Looking forward to a great fall season of dancing with you all.