EVENTS page for details of local dance groups, dance days, residentials, etc.
LINKS for many other Circle and Folk Dance and international music sites.
to some Circle and International Folk dances
from Eastern Europe, Armenia, Turkey - an adaptation of my drumming or instumentalists' workshop handout, with beat count and names of some dances for a variety of rhythms for 5/16 to 22/8.


MON. JUNE 2. Listen to dance tape whilst cooking lunch - Horehronsky Csardas comes on. I am struck by the power of the slow introduction. I have always thought this has a heavy metal feel to it - would sound very impressive with electric bass and guitar (just a moderate setting on the distortion pedal). Inspired by idea of fusion of musical styles, I consider names for heavy metal circle dance project, e.g. This Is Spiral Tap. Look through tape box for other suitable tunes, with little success. Find translation of lyrics to Horehronsky Csardas - "For John, for Paul, she wouldn't take a single step. For Mike, she'd jump over the Danube" - a little tame for Ozzy Osbourne-type vocals. Will have to go for a more eclectic approach.

Decide to remind myself of the steps to the dance - no need to put the music on, it's in my head. As I practise the rida step, neighbour pops head round back door to find me flying round dining room, sidestep then cross in front with an up and down motion whilst looking backwards. Sheepishly say I can explain everything.

WEDS. JUNE 4. Frustrated by lack of progress in choreographing series of vegetable dances (only 3 in 4 years - The Parsnip, The Beetroot, and The Lettuce). Wonder about aromatherapy dances, but decide essential oils best describe particular types of dance and dancers' reactions to them, e.g rosemary - invigorating and stimulating; sandalwood - drifty, dreamy and exotic; lavender - extremely popular, but quality varies according to who you get it from; patchouli - simple steps to chants and drums; vetiver - lasts for ages and most people don't like it; frankincense - good meditational dance that slows down rate of breathing; camomile sleep-inducing.

THURS. JUNE 12. Have followed up musical fusion idea. Several possibilities for reggae versions - Specknerin/Nonesuch, Shepherd's Dance, various An Dro tunes. Remember hearing Damask play jazzy Karagouna at Dance Camp Wales, complete with saxophone, so try through some jazzy chords on the bouzouki. Joc de Leagane and By The Quiet Stream work very well, but have to be speeded up a bit. Well, a lot in fact. Sandansko Oro sounds great with minor seventh chords - very jazz-funk - though not the most accessible dance to put in repertoire. End up with Shepherd's Dance (again) and Sirdes as only suitable candidates. Playing rhythm on Sirdes is fine for me, as I don't have to get to grips with learning the tune.

Taken with crossover idea and wondering why circle dance can't become as big as line dancing. Decide mass media exposure needed, with familiar cultural symbols. Visions of video of one piece of music for a Buenek, where the gadulka (if that is what it is) sounds like electric guitar - scene of Bulgarian peasant (who is probably really an out-of-work nuclear scientist) playing, dissolves into scene of long-haired type playing same tune on electric guitar, then back again.

FRI. JUNE 26. Go to Ju Ju Club - African band and world music disco. Still in crossover mood, try adapting circle dance steps to a variety of music. Fall Of the Tyrant, Ambee Dageets, Buenek work well. Got used to looking silly ages ago.

SAT. JUNE 27 Play in a pub session. Odeno Oro goes down well, can play it much faster in this setting.

TUES. JUNE 30 Play music for local Circle dance group. Play Odeno Oro, get into the music and close eyes and drift off. Awake to find ambulance carting off exhausted dancers.

Page last updated 17.11.08

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