Brâul men's chain dance

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Brâul dance form

Brâul is a term used for types of men's chain dances, although there are now mixed and women's versions. The term is applies to several different regional families of dances that have little choreographic similarity.

The word Brâul (pl. Brâuri) comes from the Dacio-Illyrian language group meaning belt. Formations where the dancers hold their neighbour's belts are common throughout Bulgaria (known as na pojas) and east Serbia. Belt hold causes the dancers to be connected more rigidly than hand holds, thus the dance formations are restricted to short lines and semicircles. The belt hold rarely exists in Romania except in the name of the dance and has been replaced by shoulder hold, front or back cross-hand hold, or simple low hand hold.

Brâul dance types

There are three basic types of the Brâul separated by their region, although there is some cross-linking between sub-types and some variety in classifications between different researchers;

from Oaş & Maramureş
Brâul pădurenesc
Brâul bătrân
old type
Brâul bătrân
old type
new type
Brâul Muscelean
from Muscel
new type


Choreographic form, motifs, music

type names form structure motifs music
Carpathian Brâul Brâul, Corăgheşte (including Roata, Bărbătesc) shoulder hold walking (plimbăre) travelling to the right & figures syncopation, stamping, heel clicks 2/4
Danubian Brâul Brâuleţ, Galaonul, Poloxia, Alunelul cross hand holds bi-directional figures fast footwork - crossing, toe & heel actions 2/4
Banat Brâul (new type) Brâul lui ...,
Brâul de la ...,
Brâul ...ilor
shoulder hold bi-directional figures fast footwork - crossing, toe & heel actions 2/4 or 7/8
Banat Brâul (old type) Brâul, Danţ shoulder hold bi-directional fixed step pattern 2/4



BADEA, M. (1971) Folclor Coreografic Oltenesc, Centrul Creatiei Dolj.

BUCSAN, A. (1971) Specificul Dansului Popular Românesc, Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România.

DUMITRU, E. (1966) Brâuri Din Munti Banatului, Timşoara, Casa Regionala a Creatiei Populare Banat.

GIURCHESCU, A. & BLOLAND, S. (1995) Romanian Traditional Dance, "Mill Valley, California", Wild Flower Press.

LATCU, I. M. A. (1971) Folclor Coreografic Din Vaile Timisului Si Bistrei, Centrul creatiei populare Caras-Severin.

POPESCU-JUDET, G. (?) Jocuri Din Banat, Bucuresti, Editura de Stat pentru Literatura si Arta.


© Eliznik2005, Last updated Apr-08