The lad's dance is found in Romanian communities (Fecioreşte) and the Hungarian communities (Legényes). These most highly evolved group dances are found in Transylvania. In central Transylvania many villages are mixed ethnicity and music and dance is shared.
These dances share elements with the parallel development of Hungarian lad's dances, in particular the incorporation of leg slaps and regulation to the musical phrasing which is inherited from the Verbunc dances of the Austrian Empire.
The dance is found in both group and solo forms;
- Group form - the dances generally consist of the dancers walking around the circle in an anticlockwise direction, sometimes including syncopated stamps, and heel clicks, followed by figures using rhythmic stamping, heel clicks, and rotations of the lower leg. This is similar to the Carpathian group dance in form.
- Solo form - each dancer performs a number of figures facing the musicians. The figures consist of a number of motifs assembled by the dancer, sometimes with specific starting and finishing motifs to each musical phrase.
There is a range of Fecioreşte dances, resulting from regional separation and the addition of different elements. The following list is an approximate summary;
- Fecioreasca from Southern Transylvanian (a predominantly Romanian area) has some less developed variants which may be the intermediary version between the wider group dances and those from other parts of Transylvania which include many Verbunc influenced motifs. Many are in asymmetric 7/8 rhythm.
- Derivatives of ritual stick dances which include the use of a stick as a prop Căluşerul (from the Căluşerii ritual), De bâtă (with sticks), or a woman acting as a prop - Haidău. The Haidău of the lower Mureş valley takes its name from the Hayduck dances which are found widely in Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary (Hajdu, Botolo) and Poland (Zbojnicki). These were popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. However, the Romanian version retains the Romanian group structure and contains no fighting movements.
- In central Transylvania the fusion of traditions has led to the highly developed Romanian Fecioreasca (also known as Ponturi), and Hungarian Legényes (known in Mezoség as Figuras, Sűrű Magyar, Sűrű Tempo, Fogasolas, Pontozó). These are formed from elements called points (pont) which are combined with a finishing sequence to fit the musical phrasing. The slow Hungarian lad's dances (Ritka Magyar) are related to the other lad's dances, but incorporate later music and dance features dating after the Hayduck dances and before the 19th century Verbunk.
- The Verbunk (Romanian Barbunc) is derived from the method of recruiting into the Austrian Habsburg armies in the 18th century. The dance had an informal structure and many figures including spur clicks, and boot and leg slaps. These features have been amalgamated into the lad's dances of Transylvania.
Other related dances are;
- In Bihor, to the west of Transylvania, the men's dance is known as Ardeleana, or Feciorescul. Elements of Transylvanian dances have found their way to Bihor where they are named Ardel, the Romanian name for Transylvania. Further to the west, the Oláhos (Vlach-like) dances are common in the east of the great Hungarian plain. These date from the 17th century and incorporate features from early forms of the Transylvania lad's dances.
- In Banat, the men's dance is known as Sorocul. These dances do not include the leg slaps and heel clicks of the Transylvanian dances, and are stylistically quite different.
- Fecioreşte is danced by women in two villages of the upper Olt valley near Brasov (Ticusu Nou and Crihalma) and in Bihor women sometimes imitated the men's Fecioreasca.
|southern Transylvanian||Fecioreasca||group||walking (plimbări) and figures||syncopation, stamps, leaps, hops, heel clicks||2/4 or 7/8|
|central Transylvanian||Fecioreasca, Ponturi,Legényes Figuras, Sűrű Magyar, Sűrű Tempo, Fogasolas, Pontozó||group||walking (plimbări) and figures||leaps, hops, heel clicks, leg slaps||2/4|
|Derivatives of ritual stick dances||De bâtă, Haidău||group||walking (plimbări) and figures, use of a prop||syncopation, stamps, leaps, hops, heel clicks||2/4 and asymmetric|
|Verbunk||Barbunc||group||figures||leaps, hops, heel clicks, leg slaps, regulation to the musical phrasing||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.