The Geampara has three beats, short-short-long, written as 7/16. The name comes from Turkish for a type of percussion instrument, probably similar to castanets. The dance is found mostly in Dobrogea, formally a Turkish ruled region, and across the Danubian plain of south east Romania.
Geampara has much in common with the Bulgarian Râčenica found in north Bulgaria and Thrace, although the music is played with a different accent.
This dance has developed circle, couple, and modern couple variants. This type of development has also happened recently to other circle dances such as Hora where it is now common to see a few couples dancing in the middle of the circle. The couple dance consists of the man and woman dancing facing each other without contact and using improvised step combinations.
Note that in Romania the 7/8 rhythm is used for other dances associated with rituals and customs as well as for a social couple dance with called figures known by various names such as Spic de Grâu, hop şi alta or Kecsketánc (Csango). It is probable the 7/8 dance rhythm was in Moldavia prior to the introduction of the Geampara dance. There are also some other Dobrogean dances in 7/8 are Pandelaşul, Drăgăicuţa, Săltata.
Notable Geampara dances are;
- Geamparalele from Dobrogea can be in a open circle, couples in a circle, separate couples, or modern 3 step turning.
- Vlăşcencuţa from the Vlaşca zone and Zlata from Slobozia are local variants of Geampara danced in a circle.
- Leliţă Ioană from Argeş and Ploieşti is adapted into 3/8.
|Geampara||Geampara, Pandelaşul, Zlata, Vlăşcencuţa, Leliţă Ioană||circle, hand hold, couples||crossing steps, stamps, hops, swinging arms||7/16|
GIURCHESCU, A. & BLOLAND, S. (1995) Romanian Traditional Dance, "Mill Valley, California", Wild Flower Press.
POPESCU-JUDET, G. (1967?) Jocuri Populare Din Dobrogea, Casa Regionala.
POPESCU-JUDET, G. & GAMAN, G. (1961) Jocuri Populare Din Regiunea Bucuresti, Editura Muzicala.