Romanian Hora

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Hora dance form

The term Hora is used for;

  1. Hora is the name for the large circle dance and is the most widespread dance in Romania, partly because any number of participants of both men and women, of any ability or age, can join in. Hora is frequently performed as a ritual dance at weddings and funerals. In southern Romania and Moldavia Hora is the introductory dance to the dance cycle, whereas in Transylvania and Maramureş it is rarely performed at the village Hora.
  2. The fixed form chain dances to moderate tempo Hora music are classified as Hora, however often have specific names other than Hora.
  3. The term Hora is also used for the Sunday village dance, even where the Hora dance does not form part of the dance cycle.

The hold in Hora has the hands joined at shoulder height and held slightly forward. The formation is a closed circle, apart from in some parts of Banat and north Oltenia where it is danced in an open circle with a leader who can take the dance into a spiral. Mostly these dances progress to the right, often with a diagonal forward and back path.

The Romania Hora is a structured in 2 or 4 measure phrases. Unlike the Bulgarian Pravo Horo and Macedonian Oro which are structured in 3 measure phrases, however the Horo from north west Bulgaria and the Sitno from northern Bulgaria, have a similar form to the Romanian Hora.

Hora dance types

There are several basic variants of Hora, particularly evident in the south of Romania.

Hora n'două parţi
Hora pe bătaie
Hora iute

Choreographic form, motifs, music

type names form  structure motifs music
Hora mare Hora mare, Hora dreaptă, Hora de mână, Periniţa hands joined at shoulder height 2 or 4 measure phrases walking, stamps 2/4
Bi-directional Hora, Hora n'două parţi, Hangul, Floricica hands joined at shoulder height bi-directional figures walking, stamps, heel lifts, leaps 2/4
Bi-directional (other rhythms) Sălcioara, Hodoroaga, Şchioapa hands joined at shoulder height bi-directional figures walking, stamps, heel lifts, leaps other
"ternary" Jianul, Balta, Salta hands joined at shoulder height 3 measure phrases non-concordant with music walking, stamps, heel lifts, leaps 2/4



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

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

© Eliznik2008, Last updated Apr-08