Bufčansko: Macedonian dance

16 Feb

If you’ve grown up Greek-American in New York C, you’ll inevitably have ended up at the private family events or at more open regional fraternal organization parties of your friends, where you’ll be exposed to the music and dance traditions of other parts of the Greek world than just your own. And I’ve always prided myself being able to catch on to dances other than “our” own.

Cretan dances seem complicated but are more a test of your aerobic capacity than anything else. Pontic dances have a weirder, rhythmic structure than most. And aside from the difficult Zagorisio dances where only the first dancer really dances, Epirote dances mostly consist of minimalist movement — in keeping with the region’s minimalist aesthetic. But I could always handle them if challenged.

But these dances of west-central Greek Macedonia always stumped me. Short, choppy, skippy steps, alternating with broad sweeping ones, alternating with weird syncopated pauses…they never sept (simple past of “seep”?) into my “muscle memory” easily and I was always super-conscious of what I was doing whenever I got on the dance floor.

That’s why someone has to tell girlfriend at #2 in this video that if she doesn’t know it in her “muscle memory” she should sit it out or at least move further on down the row than where she is But she might be first kid up front’s g-friend, so she has to give it a go.


2:00 and 3:17 — kid at #3 really itching to dance — trying to help out #2. Hmm… Gaydar reading?

2:50 — hottie leader’s great smile. Always romanticized these parts of Greece (Huh? Wha?! Rumluk. Middle of August, mosquitos and sweat?) because they’re the only part of the country where there’s any real agrarian life left; makes his…cheeks…a sunburn from working, and not a Koufonesi–with-parea suntan. And then 2:50 on…

3:25 — Spine-chilling, skin-crawling sight and sound of the gaida: the bagpipe known as such from Galicia in Iberia to Galatia in Anatolia to back to here in Macedonia. It’s like…the first music… Along with that davul…drumb… Makes your insides pound.

4:00 — wow, sometimes we’re reeeaaally Slavs — blond, etc… What was name of actor as Andrey Rublev in Tarkovsky’s film of same name.

4:09 — kid with wild Mohawk and man-bun. We’re such a weirdly tolerant society given how intolerant we are.

5:05 — hopped-up kids — who should in bed by now —- wanting to get into dance. Reminds me of me.

Everyone. The Japanese think the nape of the neck is the most erotic part of human anatomy. Which is why the obi, sash, on kimono, traditional dress, hangs back and down the into upper tris but flattens breasts in front.

What’s the connection NB? I dunno. Free Association. The language of gender. And dance. Some of the younger girls who need to go home and put the rest of their clothes on.


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