The name ‘Eliznik was based on an amalgamation of the authors’ names which they had previously used for dance teaching booklets and notes. This website has two parts: the reference ‘fixed pages’ and the newer Blog. These are interlinked through the context dependent menus on the left sidebar, so posts will have links to related reference pages, and references pages will have links to posts. This Blog is divided into three subject areas: Ethnography – our continued research and interest in the customs, music and dancing in the Balkans Academic – subjects from the perspective of academic study Photos – the latest uploads History The …read more
The social dances in the villages of the Banat plain were, in past times, mostly couple dances. The Bartók music collections dating between 1912 and 1913 included some dance music, and certain dances were notated by Marcu in the 1960s, but now dancing knowledge for these older dances remains transmitted only within the dance groups and ensembles.
Marcu discusses the dancing at Sunday dances on the Banat plain in past times when three to five dances were played cyclically, one after the other as a suite, for example: Sorocul – followed by a selection from the following: Duba, Bradu, Desca, Lența, Judecata – Hora. This cycle was repeated in the same order after a break, although in 1964 Marcu comments that by then many of the dances in his books were no longer in the known repertoire at dance events. His research also reveals quite a different dance cycle from Bartók’s 1910s collection where the dominant dances …read more
Couple dances Ardeleana Slow Ardeleana Ardeleana Banat Banat plain column dances Duba,Lența, Sireghea etc. Polca Bihor Giurchescu’s classification separating the Ardelene into sub-categories of “slow”, “syncopated” and “fast” is a useful basis . However, these sub-categories are represented by different unrelated dances in the regions of Bihor, Arad and Banat, so this does not indicate that dances in a particular category are actually connected in choreology or history. Under “slow Ardeleana” Giurchescu includes the true Ardeleana and many other dances also in column formation. Locally some dances are known as Ardeleana and these true Ardeleana generically have a structure of …read more
Just for fun a couple of decades ago I took the archaeology maps from “History of Transylvania” and overlaid the Romanian ethnographic regions (the celebrated areas with old layers of Romanian folklore) on to the maps of archaeology sites for the various waves of invaders. The history of Transylvania is particularly illusive, even though Transylvania was on the trade route from the Black Sea to Western Europe. There is a continuing (can never be proven) debate regarding the arrival of the Latin speaking Romanians; are they Romanised Dacians, or other Romanised peoples that moved there later, and if so, before …read more
The notable feature of many couple dances in western Romania is the ‘column’ formation, and this is the basis of Giurchescu’s “Ardeleana type” category, where the most distinguishing characteristic is that partners face each other and are arranged in a very compact double column. When this is a community dance with very many couples, such as Ardeleana in the Banat mountain region, the formation is an open circle forming a “horse-shoe” in the dance space, a formation that is common for central European dances. The dancers face and their partner hold and are arranged with the men facing into the dance space and the women facing out. When there are fewer couples, or there are several smaller groups of dancers, the formation becomes a straight column of dancers.
Câmpia Aradului is the plain around the city of Arad. In geographic terms this area is bounded to the south by the Mureș river, to the east by the mountains and to the north along a line of the villages, Pâncota, Caporal Alexa, Olari, Șimand and Sânmartin. The sub-zones listed by Viorel Nistor suggest that the northern limit of Câmpia Aradului is west from Șiria, thus excluding the villages of Țara Zărandului. To the east of Câmpia Aradului is the wine growing area in the foot hills known as Podgoria Aradului. However, the “Dictionary of Traditional Art” in the entry …read more
The Arpad (Magyar leader) conquest of this region was probably in the 10th century and the administrative regions from this time are called vármegye in Hungarian or comitatul in Romanian (from Latin comitatus). Various dates for the first documentation of the names for this region (1150, 1237, 1271, 1324) are given in Romanian and Hungarian texts (without any references!). Sometime between 1203 and 1214 the county of Zarand was separated from the county of Bihor, and the citadel of Zărand was founded after 1232. The region continued as an administrative region with the county town of Zarand and then the …read more