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.
  • The choreographic structure characteristic to the Romanian group dances includes alternating;
  • Walking (plimbări), or a basic step, in a circle moving anticlockwise.
  • Complex figures (mișcare) performed in place.It is difficult to say how closely or distant these dances are to the Căluș type Romanian men’s group stick dances, or to the generally similar concept of men’s group dances in the wider area of central and southeastern Europe.
  • This dance structure of alternating basic travelling step and figures in place is common to the Carpathian Brâul, common Sârba, men’s group stick dances and men’s group stick dances.

Carpathian group dance types

  • Moldavian group dances Trilișești, Țânțăroiul, Leușteanca, Pădurețul.
  • Shepherds’ dances Ceanunul, Brânza, Siminicul.
  • Feciorește lads’ dances of Transylvania – these have a wide variety ranging from older versions close to the Carpathian group dances, versions closer to the men’s stick dances Călușeri (De bâtă, Haidău), and those with motifs of Austro-Hungarian boot slapping patterns (Barbunc).
  • North Transylvanian group dances Bărbătesc from Maramureș and Roata from Oaș: In some respects these also have links to the Carpathian Brâul in respect to the use of chain dance with shoulder hold and syncopated step sequences, but the rhythmic motifs are closer to dances from Bihor.

Choreographic form, motifs, & 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 form structure motifs music
North Transylvanian Bărbătesc, Roata, De sărit group walking (plimbări) and figures syncopation, stamps, leaps, hops, heel clicks 2/4
North Moldavian Trilișești, Țânțăroiul, Leușteanca, Pădurețul group walking (plimbări) and figures syncopation, stamps, leaps, hops, heel clicks 2/4
Shepherds Ceanunul, Brânza, Siminicul group walking (plimbări) and figures syncopation, stamps, leaps, hops, heel clicks 2/4
Lads’ dances Feciorește, De bâtă, Haidău, Barbunc group walking (plimbări) and figures syncopation, stamps, leaps, hops, heel clicks 2/4 and asymmetric
Published on 1st March 2018, last modified on 26th June 2018