The 'turning' dance is thought to have developed later than the 'walking' dance and is found from Sweden (Pols and Polska), through Poland (Oberek) down to Maramureş and Transylvania. The Romanian dance is the called the Învârtita or Bătuta with the Hungarian version called Forgatós.
The basic form is at moderate tempo with turning as a couple, in alternate directions separated by a resting step, without progressing around the dance space. This oldest form of the dance still continues in some places (Romanian regions along the northern edge of Transylvania and Hungarian town of Szek).
Unlike the Purtata family of dances, the Învârtita is found with Romanians beyond Transylvania and is not restricted to Hungarian feudal areas, and has a universal name covering many regional versions, possibly supporting Romanian dance views these dances have not spread via the Hungarian nobility.
The Învârtita should not be confused with the Csárdás which represents the "new" style of Hungarian dancing which appeared around the mid 18th century.
Many regions have adapted the dance to develop a local form;
- Maramureş, Oaş and Moldavia variants are normally termed 'stamping Învârtita' as local motifs of stamping and changes to the choreographic construction make the dance look distinct.
- Transylvanian plain region has developed more complex figures involving pirouettes for the women. Generally a single figure (or small number of variants) predominate at each location. These types are shared between the Hungarian and Romanian communities.
- In Northern Transylvanian the simple form in some zones is augmented by leg slapping motifs from the men's Fecioreşte.
- In southern Transylvania, including the Mureş region and across to
Sălăj and Cluj regions, the Învârtita is danced to an asymmetric
10/8 (4+3+3) rhythm. The local men's dances are adapted to this rhythm and
the musicians adapt melodies between straight and asymmetric rhythm. This
is specific to the Romanian community (except a few mixed villages where
the Hungarians also dance it). There are a number of sub-variants of this;
- danced by one man and two women
- danced by women in a circle (this is often erroneously classified with the Purtata de fete)
There are also variants at distinctly different tempi;
- The moderate tempo dance is mostly followed by a faster version in Transylvania which is often simpler in figure construction. The southern Transylvanian Haţegana may be related to the Ardeleana type.
- A slower variant is found in a few central Transylvanian villages.
Sometimes the small circle dances of Carpathian Moldavia and Transylvania are included in the classification of Învârtita.
Dance rhythms explained:
- Straight - a basic 2/4.
- Asymmetric - where the beats of each measure are of different lengths, but not exact multiples. This is common in all families of Romanian dances from Transylvania and Banat.
- Syncopated - the step is shifted by less than a beat after the expected timing. This is used throughout Romanian dance, including asymmetric rhythm couple dances.
|Straight rhythm||Învârtita, De-învârt, Bătuta||scattered couples||turning as a couple, resting figure, other more complex figures||can include women's pirouettes, men's leg slapping||2/4|
|Stamping||Învârtita, Tropotita, Bătuta||scattered couples||turning as a couple, resting figure||can include men's stamping||2/4|
|Asymmetric rhythm||Învârtita, De-învârtita,||scattered couples, trios, or small circles||turning as a couple, resting figure||can include women's pirouettes, men's heel clicks||10/16 (4+3+3)
|Fast tempo||Harţagul, Haţegana||scattered couples||turning as a couple, resting figure||can include women's pirouettes, men's heel clicks||2/4|
|Slow tempo||Romanca, ţigăneşte, Hungarian ciganánytanc||scattered couples||turning as a couple, resting figure||2/4|
BUCSAN, A. (1971) Specificul Dansului Popular Românesc, Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România.
BUCSAN, A. (1957) Jocuri Din Ardealul De Sud, Editura de Stat.
GIURCHESCU, A. & BLOLAND, S. (1995) Romanian Traditional Dance, "Mill Valley, California", Wild Flower Press.