Tag Archives: Bulgaria

Kalesh Kate and Djevojcica

I hope everyone is safe and keeping warm this winter.  Dancing keeps me warm physically and spiritually.  I know that is the same with many of you.

This month Bill taught Kalesh Kate as taught by Nikolaj Tsvetkov.  The following video shows Nikolaj leading the line in this dance. We learned the dance from him on his US tour in Washington, DC.

Kalesh kate


Susan O. is teaching the the Croatian dance below. The video shows how we do it also.

Djevojčica Rože Brala 


Keep warm and share the joy- dance with a child!

Another  Day, Another Dance,

Happy Dancing!


” The Beauty of Bulgarian Folk Music and Dance”

Who Knew??? The Library of Congress’ National Audio-Visual Conservation Center was in Culpeper, VA?  Practically in our backyard!

Not only do they preserve and present AV materials, they have a theater where other performances can be viewed!

Everyone who attended Saturday’s performance was treated to an afternoon of lively music, dance and song! Not only was there singing and dancing on stage, but the audience danced in the aisles and in the lobby to the accompaniment of the musicians. The musicians and singers were from the groups “Kolorit” Orchestra from Chicago, “Duo Kuchevi”  from New York, and Stoyan Kostov now based in Pittsburgh. The resulting music sounded as if they had been playing together all of their lives!

The dances were performed by “Bosilek” an all women’s troupe based in New York.  The group has been together since 1979. The energetic and precise dancing was enhanced by the beautiful traditional Bulgarian folk dress.

In addition to the program notes, explanations of Bulgarian traditions and history from each region was given before the performances which added to the appreciation of the performance. The performance ended with the audience dancing with “Bosilek” the traditional Bulgarian folkdance tunes.

A story that evokes the timelessness and the circular history of folk dance was relayed to me by Cathie Springer, the director of “Bosilek”.

Yves Moreau, having just been bitten by the folk dance bug, boards a Bulgarian ship in a Canadian Harbor and asks the sailors to teach him some Bulgarian folk dances. A sailor accepts the challenge and teaches Yves how to dance like the Bulgarians of his region.  The daughter of that sailor now dances with “Bosilek” and he was there Saturday to share in the joy of his heritage!

Tripodhis,Kukuvicka, and the Greek Seminar

Bill has taught the Greek Dance ” Tripodhis” that he learned at the dance seminar we attended in Greece this past summer. Sue C. noticed that it sounded very similar to the Bulgarian dance we do “Kukuvicka “. You can listen to a version of “Kukuvicka” at http://www.dunav.org.il/balkan_music_bulgarian.html#all .

The dance “Tripodhis” is done to the song “Bati kuritsia stu churo”. Neither one could be found online. Sorry! If you find them, please let me know.

Anyone looking for a great dance vacation check out the 13th Annual Seminar with a great teacher Kyriakos Moididis! The 12th was fantastic!

Boris Karlov

Thank you again Susan J. for the following Folk Dance “Tidbit”:

When people hear the name “Boris Karloff”, they usually think of the English actor who took this as a stage name, and used it in his roles in horror movies.

But the REAL Boris Karlov was an accomplished Bulgarian accordianist, who recorded a lot of wonderful music on the Bulgarian record label HORO (this means “circle dance”, and in Cyrillic is looks like XOPO.) See this entry for information on this musician:

Some of his tunes are regulars on the folk-dance circuit. You can check out YouTube to listen to some of these.
1. Obedjansko Horo
2. Vrabniska Racenica
3. Sitno Horo
4. Racenica
5. Bre Blagatka
6. Makedonsko Horo
7. Dajcovo Horo (1A)
8. Sofijsko Sopsko Horo
9. Gankino Horo (1)
10. Kjustendilsko Horo
11. Severnjaska Racenica
12. Gankino Horo (2)
13. Trakijsko Horo (A)
14. Trakijska Racenica
15. Gankino Horo (3)
16. Dajcovo Horo (2)
17. Plovdivsko Horo
18. Dajcovo Horo (3)
19. Gankino Horo (4)

Keep on dancing!
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Another Day, Another Dance!

Jove Male Mome, Sadi Moma, Do Mar Ciften

It is hard to believe that November is almost over! 16 of my students and I did the demonstration/performance for the Rockfish Elementary School and it went very well.

We had 2 assemblies with the cafeteria full of students. My students performed Cimpoi. After performing my students went among the elementary students and I taught a Ugros(from Phyllis Weikart’s book), Adjon Az Isten, and Zemer Atik. Fun was had by all!

On our regular Wednesday dance night we have been learning Jove Male Mome http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjCDcU1pO44
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thKw3n_3Jvc as you can see, Dunav spells and pronounces Malaj which is different from the US spelling and pronunciation.

Sadi Moma is another dance we learned last month. I couldn’t find a video of the dance on line, but Yves Moreau has it in his collection. Here is the song being performed.

Do mar ciften is the “mystery dance”! On line I can find some songs– not the one to which we dance. http://www.tubehome.com/watch/do-mar-çiften-do-dal-për-gjah
http://www.tubehome.com/watch/laver-bariu-do-marr-çiften As you notice marr has 2 “r’s” in this name.

Here are the lyrics in Albanian!

Do mar çiften do dal për gjah.
Kjo është kënga origjinale e kënduar nga Grupi i Përmetit.
Me gjithë riprodhimet dhe modernizimit që i është bërë kësaj kënge, kjo përsëri mbetet kënga Flamur!

All I know is that some part of the above means “Take the gun”. This is one of my favorite dances.

Have a great time dancing!

Remember to forward this site to those you think might be interested and become a follower!

Another Day, Another Dance!

Happy Latin American Independence Month!

In celebration of Latin American Independence, I told my students that they could bring in food for extra credit. In the classes that remembered to bring food, we also danced. What’s a celebration without dancing????!!!!! Well, in one of my more challenging classes we only got through half of La Raspa!-with a vow never to try to dance with this class again. Yes, that’s how challenging they are! But, what do you know, they came into class telling me how they had been “practicing” the dance during volley ball practice and singing the Spanish song that they have been learning!!!!! You just have to love them! Once I’ve recovered, maybe around Christmas we’ll try another dance!????????????

At our regular meeting this week there was a lot of review of previous dances taught. The only Ouvre Moi that I could find was a modern version that didn’t sound anything like the music to which we dance.
Susan O. taught Stranzanski Burenek from Bulgaria but I couldn’t find any on the internet. Dick Oates has a dance description of Strandzansko Horo.

Have a great week dancing!
Another Day, Another Dance

Karamfil, Ya Abud, Ivanice

Last Wednesday Susan O. taught Karamfil from Bulgaria
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4YRkcuABX4 and

Here is Ya Abud close to the way we do it. Bill is having fun with his drum playing along.

Sue C. also reviewed Ivanice(a?)

Susan O also taught Ouvre Moi and Neda Voda Nalirala, but I can’t find them on the web.

We had a great time at the party. Even in 101 degree weather there was a great turn out of 16 people! We ate great food, listened to the Unforgettables that aren’t so unforgettable! Some of us even got a dip or two in the pool, and of course we can’t forget the dancing on the lawn after it “cooled” a little.

This gave us some time to get to talk, since we go from dance to dance talking gives way to dancing!

Another Day, Another Dance

Vlashko long version – teaching of steps

Vlasko – Long Version – description from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

The uploading is what takes the longest on our connection.http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12747443&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

Vlashko Step 2

Vlashko Step 1 explanation from M B Shaw on Vimeo.


Vlashko Long Version Step 2 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.


Vlashko long version steps 1 & 2 no music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Now for the music!


Vlashko long version steps 1 & 2 with music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Onto step 3!


Vlashko long version step 3 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Get the transition?


Vlashko long version – transition steps 2 & 3 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Now do it with music!


Vlashko long version steps 1- 3 with music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Are you ready for step 4?


Vlashko long version steps 4 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Can you transition from step 3 to step 4?


Vlashko long version steps 3 & 4 with music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Here we go with step 5!


Vlashko long version step 5 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Transition steps 4 & 5.


Vlashko long version steps 4 & 5 with music. from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Time for step 6.


Vlashko long version step 6 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Try step 6 with the music slowed.


Vlashko long version step 6 with slowed music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Let’s see some styling of step 6!


Vlashko long version step 6 styling from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Finally the last step!


Vlashko long version step 7 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Try it slowed down a bit!


Vlashko long version step 7 with slowed music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.


Vlashko long version step 7 with music normal speed from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Next try the styling of step 7!


Vlashko long version – styling of step 7 from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Practice the transition of steps 6 & 7 – it’s tricky!


Vlashko long version steps 6 & 7 with slowed music from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Now let’ put it all together!


Vlashko long version – The whole Dance! from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

Vlasko – Long Version – Description

It’s been a while since I have blogged. We’ve been having a great time dancing and learning new dances!

On May 12, Irene Sarnelle brought some of her students from Mary Baldwin College. It was wonderful to have an infusion of young energy! Who would have thought that we could use a bigger room! There were a grand total of 30 people dancing!

Below begins the teaching videos of the long version of Vlasko that we taped at the home of Susan O.


Vlasko – Long Version – description from M B Shaw on Vimeo.

More to come!

Another Day, Another Dance

Kolo Zita, Sitna Zborenka

It’s great to have Susan O. back teaching.We hope that Susan J’s back will heal rapidly so that she can be back dancing and teaching. Kolo Zita http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD2KsSljWXo This youtube site has a suite of other Croatian dances being performed with Kolo Zita this one is done a little differently. I couldn’t find the Bulgarian dance Sitna Zborenka on the internet.

We had an even dozen dancers this week. Great to see and dance with everyone!

Another Day, Another Dance!