Danubian Brâul - sub type Brâuleţ

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The Romanian Brâul family of men's dances, now has mixed and women's versions. The word Brâul comes from the Dacio-Illyrian language 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 The belt hold no longer exists in Romania except in the name of the dance and has been replaced by front or back cross-hand hold, shoulder hold, or simple low hand hold. There are three basic regional types of the Brâul.

The Danubian Brâul is danced to fast 2/4 music and mostly moves, forward and back, and left and right, so the dancers usually return to the same place. It has two main families, the first is Brâuleţ from Oltenia which has several other names, Galaonul, Poloxia, and Trei păzeşte. The second family is Alunelul, found across the whole of southern Romania, which is danced mostly in front or back basket hold. There are also versions in low hand hold which can be danced in a circle. There are a few alternative names for Alunelul, with Ca la baltă possibly the best known.

The majority of the Brâuleţ dances are from the villages of southern Oltenia. This region comprises the flat lands along the river Danube with many compact villages unlike the linear villages of the sub-Carpathians. Many dances taught come from Goicea and Bârca, which are so close to each other that the edge of one is at the start of the next village! Bistreţ is a little to the SW near the Danube. A few are also found in the Râmnicu Vâlcea area, I don't know if there is a historical link from south Oltenia to north east Oltenia.

 

Title Village, Region Choreographic level Dance notes* Source**
    *click here for notes    
Type 1              
Brâuleţul   1       Sever Tita
Polocsia de la Bârca Bârca, Dolj 1       Mihai David
Brâuleţ Vâlcean Râmnicu Vâlcea 1       Silviu Ciuciumiş
Brâuleţul de la Bârca I Bârca, Dolj   2       Silviu Ciuciumiş
Brâuleţul de la Bârca II Bârca, Dolj   2     Silviu Ciuciumiş
Poloxia de la Goicea Goicea, Dolj     3   Silviu Ciuciumiş
Type 2              
Trei păzeşte bătrânesc Goicea Mare, Dolj   2     Silviu Ciuciumiş
Trei păzeşte de la Bistret Bistreţ, Dolj     3     Mihai David
Şchioapa       3   Mihai David

* Some dance notes in Romanotation are available, click the . Please note these are not detailed notes and should only be used as a reminder after the workshops.

** Our "source" is only indicative of the route to us or the UK and may not be the original source

 

Dance characteristics  
Music

Fast 2/4 played on fluier, caval or violin

Formation

Lines in back basket hold or shoulder hold, although for recreational dancing this is usually changed to V hold or front basket hold

Choreography

Bidirectional, forward+backward

Type 1: introduction with a number of forward and back steps and step kicks in place, followed by a figure using a combination of characteristic steps.

Type 2: a number of figures using combinations of characteristic steps

Characteristic steps

"bicycling" kicks; combinations of hops with free foot across, to side & across using toe or heel; crossing steps in 3's and 7's; travelling to side with leading heel; close with heel click.

 

Etymology  
Brâuleţul the little brâul (belt)
Polocsia / Poloxia unknown
Trei păzeşte look out tree times
Galaonul unknown