Horo , communal dance of Bulgaria. Performed for enjoyment at festive gatherings, it has many varieties, the moods of which range from solemn to exuberant. Horo s are danced in linked circles, in serpentine chains, and in straight lines. The horo, like the related Yugoslav kolo and Romanian hora , is one of a complex of European chain dances performed since ancient times. See also carole. Info Print Cite.

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Bulgarian folk dances are intimately related to the music of Bulgaria. This distinctive feature of Balkan folk music is the asymmetrical meter , built up around various combinations of 'quick' and 'slow' beats. The music, in Western musical notation , is often described using compound meter notation, where the notational meter accents, i.

Many Bulgarian dances are line dances , in which the dancers dance in a straight or curved line, holding hands. Many Bulgarian dances are line dances , with the dancers holding hands in a straight or curved line, facing in toward the center of the dance space. Originally men and women danced in separate lines, or in a gender-segregated line in which the last woman and first man held opposite ends of a handkerchief, to avoid gender contact but today men and women often dance in mixed lines.

Several different handholds are used in the different dances". Bulgarian dances are distinctive for their subtle rhythms and intricate footwork. In some dances, the dancers repeat the same pattern of steps throughout the dance, while others are "called" dances with several different steps in which the leader calls out changes in the steps at his discretion.

Still, others have a basic step which individual dancers may embellish at specific points with variations like stamps and foot slaps. In dances in which the line moves to the right or left, the dancer at the head of the line is the "leader". It is his responsibility to lead the line so it doesn't collide with other lines, and in "called" dances to call the variations.

New dancers joining a dancing line join at the end; it is bad manners to join at the head of the line, in front of the leader. Each region has its own distinctive style of dance, to the extent that a knowledgeable observer can often tell which region a group of Bulgarians comes from by how they perform a popular dance like the pravo.

In addition, due to the intricate ethnic mix in the Balkans, each locality and even each village may have its own variation of a dance, different enough that it amounts to a distinct dance. In Bulgarian folkdance literature, local variations are often differentiated by adding the geographical origin to the dance name: for example pravo plovdivsko horo means "the pravo dance from the town of Plovdiv".

The proportions of the beats do not follow any exact rational proportions. Here, the latter two forms exist both as a musicologist's way to attempt to indicate the tendency of speeding up the last and first beats, as well in formal version, where the musician plays 3 or 4 about equal length notes on the beat.

Given this fact, though, some meters are more common or popular, but there is a wide variation of less frequent combinations, as well. There is also disagreement about whether one should use 1 8 or 1 16 as meter denominator, but this is just a notational convenience.

In the list below, the denominator follows in part notational practice of the region, and in part the speed of the type of tune, giving the 1 4 note a reasonable number of beats per minute as on a metronome. Folk dancers often speak in terms of "quick" and "slow" instead of a steady meter "1, 2, 3," etc.

These dance rhythms may not agree with the rhythms and meters performed by the musicians. Therefore, in dance instruction, quick and slow beat descriptions, in combination with intuition and careful listening, may be a good approach, though not suitable for performing and notating the music.

In addition, a dance instructor not familiar with the exact musical rhythms should not demonstrate these dance rhythms without music. It would be best to use a slowed-down playback, lest the dancers become confused at full speed.

Below is a list of some Bulgarian folk dances , along with their commonly written rhythms and time signatures. The word horo means "dance" and is sometimes added to the name of the dance.

Since the transliteration of Bulgarian is problematic, the official Bulgarian transliteration is used, which can be checked at Transliteration of proper names in Bulgaria , followed within parenthesizes by the Bulgarian name and, after a semicolon, for searchability alternative transliterations.

Following a Bulgarian sheet music practice, more complex meters generally appear later in the list. Thus, even though these are well-known rhythmic patterns, one may not arrive at an unambiguous meter interpretation, the way listeners of Western music are used to. Many of the dances are formed by each person holding the belt or sash of the dancer on either side. These belts are typically fit loosely around the waist so that each person can move easily within the belt, while the overall line can stay together.

Although there are basic steps that make up the dance, certain people may improvise variations, sometimes forming a competition between the dancers.

These variations must result in the same movement as the rest of the line, but may consist of additional or slightly different steps. For example, the basic pajdushko horo dance consists of a series of four hop-steps actually, lift-steps to the right, followed by a series of four steps to the left where the right foot crosses in front of the left foot on the quick beat, then weight is transferred onto the right foot, which pushes the dancer to the left on the slow beat.

Finally, the line moves backwards using four hop-steps, and the dance is repeated. Variations might consist of alternating the right foot in front of and behind the left foot, forming a basic grapevine dance step.

Another variation might be that instead of hop-steps backwards, a dancer might use a series of scissor steps and end with a pas-de-bas step. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page.

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Bulgarian dances

Dancing horo involves learning a sequence of steps and combining them with movements of the hands while folk music is playing. Fifty years ago or so, dancing horo was a way of courting. Looking each other in the eyes during a dancing party in the main square of the village often meant that the two people liked each other and were going to get married. At a time when no radio and television existed, horo dancing was the main form of entertainment.


The magic of the Bulgarian dance "horo"

We, the Bulgarians, are known for the horo dance. When somewhere in the world they start dancing horo everyone says — these are the Bulgarians. Do not stop dancing horo. The whole nature of the Bulgarian spirituality is expressed in these lines.

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