BALTAREASCA

Romanian

 
PRONUNCIATION: bahl-tahr-EHS-kah
 
TRANSLATION: From the swamp (or marsh)
 
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Sunni Bloland who learned it during her 1967-68 research trip to Romania from Anca Guirchescu, dance ethnographer at the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore in Bucareşti (Bucharest). Ms. Bloland introduced the dance to folk dancers in the United States at the 1969 Balkan/Near-East Festival in Portland, Oregon.
 
BACKGROUND: Baltareasca, formerly danced by men only, is from the villiage of Traian, Judeţ Teleorman (Judeţ means "county") in the southern Romanian ethnographic region of Muntenia, about five miles west of Turnu Măgurele. It may be danced on any village dance occasion. Baltareasca is characteristic of the many stamping dances of this region of Romania and includes another common element, the "vîrf-toc." Muntenia is also known in English as Greater Wallachia, and is a historical province of Romania, usually considered Wallachia-proper (Muntenia, Ţara Românească, and the seldom used Valahia are synonyms in Romanian). It is situated between the Danube (south and east), the Carpathian Mountains (the Transylvanian Alps branch) and Moldavia (both north), and the Olt River to the west. The Olt is the border between Muntenia and Oltenia (or Lesser Wallachia). Part of the traditional border between Wallachia / Muntenia and Moldavia was formed by the rivers Milcov and Siret.
 
MUSIC:Naroc Records (7"EP) NA 1054-EP, side B, band 2.
 
FORMATION:Closed cir of mixed M and W with hands joined and held with bent elbows at shldr level in "W" pos.
 
METER/RHYTHM: 2/4
 
STEPS/STYLE: VÎRF-TOC: Literally, "lift-heel," may be likened to a hop in which the toe does not leave the floor, followed by the heel being placed forcefully down. It is usually followed by a stamp or step with the other ft. All steps are small, quick, and sharp. All stamps are without wt.

Arm movements are somewhat difficult and may require much practice and may require much practice to coordinate them with the steps. Because the arm movements are continuous and, thereby complicated, they are notated separately following the pattern description.


MEASFTWK MOVEMENT DESCRIPTION

 
 INTRODUCTION
 
 None.
 
I. FIGURE ONE
 
1Facing ctr, step R across in front of L (ct 1); step L swd (ct &); step R across in front of L (ct 2); step L swd (ct &);
2Vîrf-toc L in place (ct 1); stamp R next to L (ct &); step R in place (ct 2); step L in place (ct &);
3Repeat action of meas 2;
4Vîrf-toc L in place (ct 1); stamp R next to L (ct &); stamp L next to R taking wt (ct &); pause (ct &).
 
5-8Repeat action of meas 1-4.
 
II. FIGURE TWO
1Step R swd (ct 1); step L across in back of R (ct &); step R swd (ct 2); stamp L next to R (ct &);
2step L swd (ct 1); stamp R next to L without wt (ct &);
 
 Step R swd (ct 2); step L across in back of R (ct &);
3step R swd (ct 1); stamp L next to R without wt(ct &);
 
 Step L swd (ct 2); step R across in back of L (ct &);
4step L swd (ct 1); stamp R next to L without wt (ct &); stamp R next to L without wt (ct 2); pause (ct &).
 
5-8Repeat action of Fig II, meas 1-8.
 
 Repeat entire dance from beg.
 

MEASARM MOVEMENT DESCRIPTION

 
 INTRODUCTION
 
 None.
 
I. FIGURE ONE
 
1With hands in "W" pos, jiggle elbows quickly dn-up as follows: on step R, jiggle elbows dn (ct 1); up (ct uh); on step L, dn (ct &); up (ct uh); on step R, dn (ct 2); up (ct uh); on step L, dn (ct &);
2On Vîrf-toc, beg swing arms fwd out and dn (ct 1); on stamp, swing hands down low and back, arms straight (ct &); on step R, swing hands up fwd (ct 2); on step L, bring hands into "W" pos;
3On Vîrf-toc, beg swinging arms fwd and dn (ct 1); on stamp, complete swinging arms down at sides (ct 2); on step R, beg swnging arms fwd and up fwd (ct 2); on step L, continue swinging arms up fwd, arms straight (ct 2);
4On Vîrf-toc, swing hands up high, arms straight (ct 1); on stamp, quickly bring hands dn into "W" pos (ct &); jiggle hands slowly up (ct uh); on stamp, bring hands dn into "W" pos (ct 2); pause (ct &);
 
II. FIGURE TWO
 
1With hands in "W" pos, jiggle elbows slowly dn-up as follows: On step R, bring elbows dn (ct 1); on step L, up (ct &); on step R, dn (ct 2); on stamp, up (ct &);
2on step L, beg swinging arms slowly fwd and dn, arms straight (ct 1); on stamp, continue swinging arms slowly dn, arms straight (ct &);
 
 On step R, swing hands low and back, arms straight (ct 1); on step L, beg swinging hands up fwd, arms straight (ct &);
3on step R, continue swinging hands up fwd, arms straight (ct 1); on stamp, swing hands up high, arms straight (ct &);
 
 On step L, swing hands quickly out fwd and dn, arms straight (ct 1); on step R, swing hands low and back, arms straight (ct &);
4on step L, swing hands fwd and up, arms straight (ct 1); on stamp, swing hands up high, arms straight (ct &); on stamp, bring hands into "W" pos (ct 2); pause (ct &).
 
 Repeat entire dance from beg.

Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes