The Balkan dances we teach originated and continued to be danced in the rural villages and at weddings until recently. In this social setting the dances are often very repetitive, may have a degree of improvisation and the steps or sequence may be dependent on the dancer. Within each nation, the dance ensembles and choreographers have taken the dance material and produced a clear dance technique (style) characterising each regions dance.
For many decades traditional dance forms have been used for recreational dance by the many "folk dance" groups in west Europe and the USA. The dance material has various backgrounds, from pure village dances through to choreographed dances with very little traditional origin, or exerts from stage choreographies.
We can include a selection of dances for each "theme" in the programme to include:
- basic step patterns
- simple village dances
- more advanced arrangements
This will give a selection of simpler dances to use in folk dance classes, more challenging dances to stretch our dance abilities, and a knowledge of typical motifs which can be used for performance choreographies. Our dance material comes from several decades of dance courses taught by well known visiting dance teachers plus dances we have collected during our travels.
We have tried to give an indication of the degree of choreography of each dance by the choreographic level:
- Level 1: close to a village dance with minimal choreography
- Level 2: slightly choreographed, may be with a collection of figures from near villages, and arranged to fit a particular piece of music
- Level 3: choreographed to make a more complex dance
- Level 4: choreography distant from village dance