See our web page on Banat column dances. for a discussion on dance form in relation to the other Banat couple dances.
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 – ending with Hora.
Giurchescu lists under her “Type 1 slow Ardeleana” a list of Banat Ardelene plus dances Lența, Șireghea, Duba, Bradul, Desca, Măzărichea.
Marcu  puts the couple dances of Banat into groups linked by inclusion of a “typical” motif common to those dances in the group. The relevant groups are:
- “Group A” is based on the motif of 7 side steps performed bilaterally in which he includes Sireghea, Judecata (or Iepura), De doi, Cana (or Oala), and Cârligul.
- “Group B” dances “Măzărica type” includes Măzărica, Toldăul, and Poșovoaica.
- “Group C” is based on the characteristic motif of a jump in the dance Duba, and Marcu lists the variants as Lenţa, Bradu, Turca-furca, Cucuruzul and Șchioapa.
Mureș valley, north of Timișoara
In the north area the column dances Bradu and Diesca were recorded by Bartók (1910s) and Marcu (1950s). In the case of Desca the melody has not changed during this period. Whereas Duba and Lența are not in the collections of Bartók or Brediceanu, suggesting a mid-20th century popularity, becoming popular after Bartók’s time.
There is a clear dividing line between those north of Timișoara (approximately the line of Sânnicoau Mare– Arad–Lipova) and around Timișoara, towards Lugoj, and south to the Banat hills and mountains. A similar division is seen with the older layer of dances, Soroc, Întoarsa and Pe picior, although these appear to have also migrated south to around Timișoara.
This dividing line appears to be consistent for most of the dance repertoire apart from the old Banat couple dance, Pe loc, which is recorded over the whole Banat area.
Note: The video clips below are of the Datina group in Ghiroda under the leadership of Emilian Dumitru.
Duba – 6 measures phrases
The common theme is a bidirectional dance in 6 measures phrases, very unusual in Romanian dances. Duba means drum in local Romanian.
Marcu  describes seven versions of Duba with name of the dance reflecting the form of the key feature of the dance: Duba sărită with jumps, Duba plimbata with walking, Duba bătută has 7 stamping steps, Duba pe tre pași has 3 steps, Duba încrucușată has steps that cross in front and cross behind. Duba de la Racovita is performed by the Datina group as couples in small circle. Duba from Șeitin is in 3 measure phrases but comprises of different motifs.
According to Marcu , Duba with its variations – Lența, Bradu, Turca-furca, and Șchioapa, has a characteristic motif of jumps on two feet together, however it is very clear that Duba is a separate dance and the others are not “variations” of Duba.
Click for more details …
|title||reference||measure 1||measure 2||measure 3|
|Duba sărită||Marcu ||2 steps||2 steps||jumps|
|Duba sărită||Marcu ||hop-step-steps||hop-step-steps||jumps|
|Duba plimbata||Marcu ||2 steps||2 steps||3 steps|
|Duba bătută||Marcu ||7 steps||step-close|
|Duba pe tre pași||Marcu ||3 steps||3 steps||jumps|
|Duba încrucușată||Marcu ||2 steps||2 steps||step-close|
|Duba||Nistor ||3 steps||3 steps||jumps|
|Duba de la Racovita||Datina group||3 steps||3 steps||jumps|
|Ionel Marcu ||Duba sărită – Sânncolaul Mare, Pesac, Satchinez
Duba plimbata – Satchinez
Duba bătută – Pesac
Duba pe tre pași – Sânnicolau Mare
Duba încrucușată – Comoșul Mare
|Corneliu Georgescu ||Duba – Sâmbăteni|
|Viorel Nistor ||Duba – Cuvin, Șeitin|
|Trandafir Jurjovan ||Duba – Ovcea|
|Jocuri populare din Banat ST-EPE 03090||Duba – Firiteaz|
Lența – phrases ending with jumps
Lența is the diminutive of Elena. In the 1960s Marcu said the dance Lența had not been included in the Sunday dance repertoire for almost 30 years , this suggests a demise in popularity in the 1930s following an earlier period of popularity. However Bartók’s did not record Lența in his collections from the 1910s.
Marcu says that in the past Lența was widespread in the communities in the Sânnicolau to Secusigiu area of northern Banat. The three examples of Lența (from Satchinez) that Marcu  describes are bidirectional dances with jumps after the travelling steps. Nistor describes Lența from Șeitin  and from Pecica  but these are from the different “1101” (Leibman notation) choreographic family.
Nistor  describes two other similar dances Ciocănița and Căteaua from Birchiș (Arad county) that are based on the combination of motifs with 3 steps and jumps. A similar pattern is also described as Tocănița from Naidăș in the lower Caraș valley by Lațcu.
Click for more details …
|title||reference||measure 1||measure 2||measure 3||measure 4|
|Lența||Marcu ||2 steps||jumps||jumps||jumps|
|Lența||Marcu ||3 steps||3 steps||2 steps||jumps|
|Lența||Marcu ||3 steps||jumps||3 steps||jumps|
|Lența de la Satchinzez||Datina group||jumps||jumps||2 steps||step-close|
|Căteaua||Nistor ||3 steps||jumps||3 steps||jumps|
|Ciocănița||Nistor ||3 steps||jumps||3 steps||jumps|
|Tocănița de a Naidăș||Lațcu ||3 steps||jumps||3 steps||jumps|
Desca, Diesca – music in 3/4
Desca musically has a rhythm of 6/8 (2+2+2) but in dance rhythm is mostly interpreted as 5 counts (1+1+1+1+2). Both Marcu  and Bartók  describe the formation as a column of couples facing, holding partner’s hands, and moving to right and left. As Bartók recorded four versions of the same melody in the 1910s this suggests that Desca (and also Bradu) might have been popular earlier than the other dances discussed here.
Marcu describes a generic version, Șesul bănătean and one from the village of Satchinez  and Bartók recorded melodies at Igriș, Seceani, Vălcani and Foeni . Nistor  records a simple one figure version at Cuvin (Arad county). The Datina group perform Desca as a line of women in front of the men.
Click for more details …
|Bela Bartók ||Igriș, Seceani, Vălcani, Foeni|
|Ionel Marcu ||Satchinez|
|Ioan Florea ||Cuvin, Sâmbăteni|
|Viorel Nistor ||Cuvin|
|Jocuri populare din Banat ST-EPE 03090||Firiteaz|
Bartók recorded melodies at Mănăștur and Jadani (Cornești) in the 1910s suggesting that Bradu (as well as Desca) might have been popular earlier that Duba and Lența. Unlike Desca which has a particular melody, Bradu is notated with different melodies. Bradu means the fir tree.
Bartók noted the formation as the same as Diesca, in that couples stand in a column, holding their partners hands, and take steps to right and left, but he says in this case they take three steps in each direction .
Generally figure A is bilateral 7 side-steps (the same as Judecata, De doi, Cȃrligu) and figure B is turning as a couple with hop-step-steps ending in jumps, although Marcu’s notation  of Bradu has both figure A and figure B with the step pattern of ‘hop-step-steps ending in jumps’.
Click for more details …
- Marcu, Ionel, Cărăuș, Mara & Ilici, Sava L (1964). Dansuri populare din județul Timiș, Timișoara, Comitetul de Cultura și Educăție Socialista al judetului Timiș, Centrul de Ȋndrumare a creație populare și amișcării artisce de masă.
- Giurchescu, Anca & Bloland, Sunni (1995) Romanian traditional dance : A contextual and structural approach, Mill Valley, California, Wild Flower Press.
- Lațcu, Afilon & Muntean, Ioan (1974). Folclor coreografic din Almăj și Caraș, Reșița, Comitetul pentru Cultură și Educatie Socialistă al Judetului Caraș-Severin.
- Marcu, Ionel, Cărăuș, Mara & Ilici, Sava L (1964). Dansuri populare din Banat, Timișoara, Casa Regională a Creaţii Popular.
- Jurjovan, Trandafir (1983). Folclor muzical Romanesc din Ovcea. Ovcea: Societatea Cultural-Artistică "Steaua".
- Costea, Ştefan, Costea, Dumitru d. & Nistor, Viorel (1998). Șeitin - O așezare milenară românească de pe Mureșul Inferior. Arad: Editura Mirador.
- Nistor, Viorel (1991). Folclore coregrafic Vol 2. Bucharest: Editura muzicala a uniunii compozitorilor si muzicologilor.
- Georgescu, Corneliu Dan (1984). Jocul popular Românesc: tipologie muzicale. București: Editura Muzicale.
- Florea, Ioan T (1974). Folclor Muzical din Judeţul Arad - 500 melodii de joc. Arad: Centrul Creatiei Populare Arad.
- Bartók, Béla (1967). Rumanian folk music. Volume 1: Instrumental melodies. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.