Brâul dance form
Brâul is a term used for types of men’s chain dances and is applied to several different regional families of dances that have little choreographic similarity. This page considers Brâuri from Oltenia and Muntenia. These dances are mostly danced in short lines, are built from typical regional motifs, and have a fast tempo requiring skilled footwork. There are similarities between these dances and those of the Vlach (Romanian language speakers) in north-west Bulgaria and north-east Serbia.
Danubian Brâul dance types
There are two basic regional types of Brâul:
- Brâuleț from Oltenia (other names, Galaonul, Poloxia, and Trei păzește).
- Alunelul which is found across the whole of southern Romania (other name Ca la baltă). The many variants use similar motifs of single and double crossing steps and stamping patterns.
- Rustem (asymmetric “quick-slow”) are sometimes included in Brâul category.
- The ‘new type’ Brâul in the southern Transylvanian Carpathians are of fixed choreography and tend to be bi-directional structure are likely to have reached these regions via military service or schools (for example Brâul Zbarcii, Trei păzește, Brâulețul).
- Some versions of the fixed form Banat Brâul have some similarities in bi-directional in structure and motifs with the Brâuleț.
Choreographic form, motifs, music
The Danubian Brâul is danced to fast 2/4 music and mostly moves, forward and back, or left and right, so the dancers usually return to the same place after each figure. The formation is generally lines, with the dancers holding in ‘cross-hand’ hold (each dancer holds the hands of their neighbours plus one, giving a crossed arms effect).
|Brâuleț||Brâuleț, Galaonul, Poloxia, Trei păzește||cross hand hold in short lines||bi-directional fixed choreography||crossing steps, leg swings, stamping||2/4|
|Alunelul||Alunelul, Ca la baltă||cross hand hold in short lines||bi-directional fixed choreography||crossing steps, leg swings, stamping||2/4|