Carpathian men’s group dances

Carpathian group dance form

These are characterised by the group dance form;

  • Performed by the dancers in unison.
  • The dancers are in a circle, but not linked by hand or arm holds.
  • Choreographic structure includes alternating;
    • Walking (plimbări), or a basic step, in a circle moving anticlockwise.
    • Complex figures (mișcare) performed in place.

This dance structure of alternating basic travelling step and figures in place is common to the Carpathian Brâul, Sârba, and men’s ceată type group dances.

Carpathian group dance types

  • Moldavian group dances, Trilișești, Țânțăroiul, Leușteanca, Pădurețul.
  • Shepherds’ dances, Ceanunul, Brânza, Siminicul.
  • Bărbătesc from Maramureș and Roata from Oaș. In some respects these also have links to the Carpathian Brâul in respect of the use of a chain dance with shoulder hold and syncopated step sequences, but the rhythmic syncopation is closer to dances from Bihor.
  • Feciorește lads’ dances of Transylvania includes dances of the ceată type close to the Carpathian group dances, and the solo forms in common with the Hungarian Transylvanian traditions using many patterns of boots slapping.

Choreographic form, motifs and music

These dances generally consist of the dancers walking around the circle in an anticlockwise direction, sometimes including syncopated stamps, and heel clicks, followed by figures using rhythmic stamping, heel clicks and rotations of the lower leg. The syncopated stamping and upbeat accents appear to be unique to Romanian dances.

type names formation structure motifs music
Maramureș and Oaș Bărbătesc, Roata, De sărit circle – ceată, holding shoulder, holding hands sequence of single motif figures syncopation ♩♪♩♪♩ stamps, jumps, spur-clicks 2/4
North Moldavian Bătrâneasca, Țânțăroiul, Pădurețul, Trilișești, Leșeasca, Leușteanca circle walking in circle, syncopated walking in circle, figures syncopation, 3-step, stamps, jumps, spur-clicks 2/4
Shepherds’ group dances Ceanunul, Brânza, Siminicul, Războiul circle 3-step-stamp in circle, 3-step in circle, figures in place 3-step-stamp, jumps,  spur-clicks 2/4
Transylvanian feciorește Feciorește circle group in circle, walking in circle, resting step, figures syncopation, stamps, leaps, hops, spur-clicks 2/4 and asymmetric
Published on 1st March 2018, last modified on 12th July 2022