Monthly Archives: April 2011

Opsa “tidbit”

Thank you Susan J for this “tidbit”!

Notes on the dance Opsa, which we did Wednesday, April 6.
(Andrew Carnie is a folk-dancer in Tucson, who has done some fairly extensive cataloging of various things IFD-related. Dick Crum is a well-known and -honored folk dance teacher of many decades (passed away several years ago).

Notes by Andrew Carnie July 19, 2003 based on notes by Dick Crum, July 1994.
Here’s what Dick Crum had to say about this dance:

“Opsa (OHP-sah) is currently one of the most popular dances at Croatian & Serbian dance events in the major cities of the Upper Midwest & the Pennsylvania/Ohio area. Its melody is relatively recent, having been composed & recorded in former Yugoslavia about a decade ago. The origins of the dance per se are obscure – it seems to have arisen here in the U.S., possibly around Pittsburgh. On the other hand, its structure has the same 5-measure pattern as the old Serbian Vranjanka. I first saw learned it at the Tamburitza Extravaganza weekend in Los Angeles, 1993, where tamburitza players & fans of tamburitza music from all over the U.S. had gathered, and Opsa was played & danced dozens of times.”

Translation:
1. Let’s dance this kolo — everyone loves it. It moves so freely & easily, everyone can dance it.
Refrain: You can hear the girls shouting: “Opsa!* Dance!” The boys won’t be outdone – they want to dance faster, more together & better — dance till dawn, opsa!
2. Let’s dance this kolo — everyone loves it. Boys, girls, everybody join the kolo, wind it around.
3. Let’s dance this kolo — everyone loves it.
The zurlas** are wailing, the drum is beating, and the dancers are on a high. * opsa! – spontaneous exclamation often used while dancing (no exact English translation; something like ‘whee!’, ‘yippee!’, or ‘hee-haw!’
** zurla (zoor’-lah) – shawm-like folk instrument common in southern Serbia, Macedonia, & other southern Balkan countries. Usually played in pairs with accompaniment by a drum (bubanj, tapan, etc.)

Thank you again Susan for the above info.

Below are Youtube videos of the dance:
:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KKur2euYao

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KKur2euYao

The dance notes are at this site:
http://dingo.sbs.arizona.edu/~carnie/folkdance/PDFs/Opsa.pdf”>http://dingo.sbs.arizona.edu/~carnie/folkdance/PDFs/Opsa.pdf

Please pass this blog along to your folk dance friends!

Happy Dancing!
Another Day, Another Dance!

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Knoxville Workshop with Mihai David

The Knoxville Mihai David workshop was fantastic! Mihai is a great teacher and a very entertaining personality. If you get the chance to take one of his workshops don’t hesitate. It was well worth the 7 hour drive to get to Knoxville!

Another dance tidbit for those not in the know. Opincuta( which Sue C. taught previously) means “little shoe” in Romanian. Opinca( the dance that Sue C. is teaching) means regular sized shoe.

Mihai gave permision for anyone who wanted to video the workshop. I have 2 DVDs if anyone is interested please email me @ birdproject2010@gmail.com or comment to this blog. The cost is the cost of the DVDs plus shipping and handeling. Below are the dances that he taught:

1 Hora de la Putna (Moldova)
2 Hora din Neruja
3 Arcanul de la Fundul Moldove
4 Hora Ploii
5 La Mahala
6 Hora din Banat
7 Cadineasca
8 DamuL
9 Hora Dreapta
10 Sirba Fetelor
11 Atica
12 Tarina de la Abrud
13 Briul pe Opt
14 Gaselnitsa

Please forward this blog to all that you think will be interested!

Keep on Dancing!
Another Day, Another Dance!

Opinca

Thank you again to Susan J. for this week’s folk dance “tidbit”. Sue C.introduced us to the dance, Opinca. Cool! A good dance, so thanks to Sue for the good pick. We considered how to do the arm-swinging. I think the following video may gave some guidance: this is a YouTube video of Opinca being done by members of Kolo Koalition. This is the long-established recreational folk-dancing group in Sacramento, and has a number of experienced dancers, so that I would guess that their version of the arm-swinging is correct. (Also, I think that Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu, who introduced Opinca, have taught in that part of California, so)again I think that what one sees in the video is probably the correct way to do this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBS9lu_WkEo Also: Romanian dances are often characterized by strigaturi, which are phrases shouted out during the dance that are in cadence with the steps of the dance: http://www.eliznik.org.uk/RomaniaMusic/strigaturi.htm In Opinca, there is 1 strigaturi that is called out in 2 places. You can hear it, but somewhat faintly, on the video. I have heard this called out in person, and it sounds something like “Opishaw”. This is a “choreographed” part of the dance, so it would make sense to add this in. I have e-mailed Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu and asked that they provide the spelling, so as to make sure we get the correct pronunciation. Not all Romanian dances have these. However, the dances that have any strigaturi at all usually have these in multiple places throughout the dance. This makes Opinca is a bit unusual, in that the strigaturi is limited to one 3-syllable word, called out only twice. Here is a YouTube video of the dance Calusari, and here the strigaturi are a prominent part of the dance. This may be a bit more typical of Romanian dances that have strigaturi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndxoye0vEfg&feature=related Keep on Dancing! Another Day, Another Dance! Please share this blog with all of your dancing friends.