Rustem 5/16 dance

Rustem dance form

Rustem 5/16 dance

This category includes all dances with a musical rhythm based on “short-long”, usually written in 5/16 (2+3). The timing is not perfectly in 5/16, sometimes it drifts nearer to 3/8, and in some areas it loses the asymmetry becoming close to 2/4, this being common in the sub-Carpathian regions.

Most of these dances are performed in a circle with low hand hold and arms which swing forward and back with the steps. The steps include many crossing steps and galloping steps.

There are many features of Romanian folklore that are common to both the Romanian and Bulgarian sides of the Danube. The uneven rhythm dances are part of this shared tradition.

This 5/16 asymmetric rhythm is found in the slow Hora in south Romania and north Moldavia, as well as in some of the dances associated with the Căluș and Drăgaica customs, and some of the women’s songs in the north of Romania. This possibly suggests that this form of asymmetric rhythm might be an older musical rhythm of the Danubian regions and people.

Rustem dance types

Some of the regional variants of Rustemul are;

  • Bugeacul, Bugeagul are variants of the Oltenian Rustem found in the Muntenian villages within the Teleorman and Vlasca regions, and maybe in the adjacent villages to this region in Olt county. Versions are found in the villages of Râioasa, Țigănești, Roșiori, Vârtoapele, Conțești, Suhaia, Zimnecea, Bacea-Olt.
  • Paidușca in Dobrogea is similar to the northern Bulgarian version known as Pajduška. This choreographic structure of steps hops to the right, crossing steps to the left, and a few crossing steps in place has spread across Bulgaria, to the Slavs of Macedonia and also to the Greeks who call it Baidouska. In common with some other shared dances, the Greek version is quantised to a regular rhythm, in this case 3/8.
  • Oltenian men’s line version uses steps typical of the local Brâuleț.
  • Resteul, Rustemul and Murgulețul from the sub-Carpathians regions in the counties of Gorj, Vâlcea, Argeș and Dâmbovița, tend to be in 2/4, but otherwise have the same dance characteristics.
  • Baluța from Teleorman and Argeș counties of Muntenia, and to a lesser extent Resteul from Dâmbovița, has a lively 3-measure travelling step in either direction. This is most similar to the Vlach dance Shira from northwest Bulgaria.

Choreographic form, motifs, music

type names form structure motifs music
Rustemul Rustemul, Resteul, Ghimpele, Bugeacul, Murgulețul, Paidușca, Baluța, Mândrele, Drăgăcuța, Păpușelele circle, hand hold (normally low hand hold) bi-directional hora crossing steps, hops, swinging arms 5/8
Published on 9th June 2018