The links below are audio recordings from our trip to the South Bend Folk Dancers’ weekly event on March 7th. All of the dances were recorded and brought back from Folk Dance conventions in Chicago or other cities by members of the Folk Dancers back in the 1970s, making it almost impossible to trace the artists. Some dances even date back to antiquity. Each of these dances gives us a little glimpse into a culture. Enjoy!
The first one was a Serbian dance. The Serbians have kept their dancing traditions alive and well within their congregation.
The second one was a joyous Greek dance performed at festivals. This dance uses the “W hold”, where members keep their arms half raised to each of their sides, forming “W” shapes with their neighbors’ arms. According to members of the club, this three-step dance is evocative of images of magnificent, statuesque Greek women carrying torches.
The third dance, “Ancient Melody,” was a Jewish dance from Israel. Like a typical circle dance, the dancers link their arms and socialize while dancing, and clap occasionally to the rhythm.
The next dance, called a Körtánc, was a Hungarian dance, and one of my favorites. It is a circle dance in 4/4 time. According to a knowledgable member, this dance is “very, very old.”
The last dance was a slow but complicated Macedonian dance. The name of the dance means “Carnation.” Being Macedonian was more of a cultural identity than a nationality, due to Macedonia’s complicated history of being a part of former Yugoslavia and Greece. Macedonia has only declared its independence about twenty years ago.
Because these recordings were made in the 1970’s or earlier, the audio quality is not as high as we would like it to be. However, it is still interesting to hear the different meters and distinct instruments used in these Eastern European folk dances.