Romanian Hora

Hora (pl. Hore) dance form

The term Hora is used for;

  1. Hora is the name for the large circle dance and is the most widespread dance in Romania, partly because any number of participants, of any ability or age both men and women can join in. Hora is customarily performed at rituals such as weddings and funerals. In southern Romania and Moldavia Hora is the introductory dance to the dance cycle, whereas in Transylvania and Maramureș it is rarely performed at the village Hora.
  2. The fixed form chain dances to moderate tempo Hora music are classified as Hora, however often have specific names other than Hora.
  3. The term Hora is also used for the Sunday village dance, even where the Hora dance does not form part of the dance cycle.

Hora dance types

Hora mare

The hold in Hora has the hands joined at shoulder height and held slightly forward. The formation is a closed circle, apart from in some parts of Banat and north Oltenia where it is danced in an open circle with a leader who can take the dance into a spiral. Mostly these dances progress to the right, often with a diagonal forward and back path

The Romania Hora is mostly structured in 2 or 4 measure phrases, unlike the Bulgarian Pravo Horo and Macedonian Oro which are structured in 3 measure phrases. However the Horo from northwest Bulgaria and the Sitno from northern Bulgaria have a similar form to the Romanian Hora.There are several basic variants of the dance Hora, particularly evident in the south of Romania:

  1. Hora mare (large Hora), Hora dreaptă (straight Hora) or Hora mare dreaptă, is the chain dance used at most social and community event. The slower Hora lente (slow Hora) and Hora mare Bucovineasca are rhythmically between 5/16 and 3/8.
  2. Hora n’două parți (bi-directional Hora) includes the many fixed choreography chain dances which alternate between moving to the right and left. Include within this category, or sometimes separately;
    1. Hora pe bătaie (stamping Hora)
    2. Hora iute (fast Hora)
    3. bi-directional dances in asymmetric or mixed rhythms.
  3. “Ternary” structure Hora type contains a few dances to Hora music that are based on 3 measure structures non-concordant with the 4 measure music, a structure common for the Carpathian Brâul and Sârba.

Note: within musical terminology “ternary” describes an A-B-A structure of the piece where B is a contrasting part or another dance. In Romanian dance terminology “ternary” is used for micro structuring of motifs or steps in threes.

Choreographic form, motifs, music

type names form structure motifs music
Hora mare Hora mare, Hora dreaptă, Hora de mână, Perinița hands joined at shoulder height 2 or 4 measure phrases walking, stamps 2/4
Bi-directional Hora, Hora n’două parți, Hangul, Floricica hands joined at shoulder height bi-directional figures walking, stamps, heel lifts, leaps 2/4
Bi-directional (other rhythms) Sălcioara, Hodoroaga, Șchioapa hands joined at shoulder height bi-directional figures walking, stamps, heel lifts, leaps other
“ternary” Jianul, Balta, Salta hands joined at shoulder height 3 measure phrases non-concordant with music walking, stamps, heel lifts, leaps 2/4
Published on 14th March 2017, last modified on 11th August 2018