PRONUNCIATION: gyoo-SHEV-skah ruh-cheh-NEE-tsah
TRANSLATION: Little handkerchief from Gjuševo (Gjueševo).
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Yves Moreau who learned it in Bulgaria in the summer of 1966 from Nasko Vassilev, director of the village dance group of Gjuševo, and presented it at the University of Chicago in 1960 and the 1968 California Kolo Festival.
BACKGROUND: The village of Gjuševo is located in a high mountain region about five kilometers from the Yugoslav border between the towns of Kjustendil and Kriva Palanka, and within the Šop ethnographic region. The "rŭčenica" (or "râčenica") is probably the most widespread dance form in Bulgaria. It can be performed in many ways: solo, couples, trios, and in mixed or segregated lines ("horo"). The line dance form is usually referred to as "horo-râčenica," but sometimes is called "hvanati-râčenica" meaning "hooked dance." The dance is also considered by many as the liveliest of all Bulgarian dances because in it dancers can show off their greatest skills and virtuosity.
MUSIC: XOPO (45rpm) X-318-B
FORMATION:Segregated short lines in belt hold ("na lesa") with the left arm over, or hands joined in "V" pos if no belts.
METER/RHYTHM: 7/16. The rhythm is quick-quick-slow (2+2+3 = 7) and is counted below in three dancer's beats with the longest beat being the third. This particular rhythm is often referred to as the "rŭčenica" rhythm.
STEPS/STYLE: ŠOP-STYLE PAS-DE-BASQUE: Step slightly swd with small sharp raising of bent free knee (ct 1); step free ft in front of supporting ft with small sharp lift of bent free knee (ct 2); step free ft in place with small sharp lift of free knee (ct 3).

The people of the Šop region are very proud by nature, yet their dances remain somewhat heavy in character. The upper part of the body is straight and upright most of the time, except for occasional leaning and bending fwd and swd. It is the legs and ft that play the important role in their dances. Movements are firm and sharp. Head movements often accompany the intricate ftwk.


 INTRODUCTION - None. Pick up the dancing "in progress."
1Facing L in RLOD but moving bwd in LOD, hop L (ct 1); step bwd R (ct 2); step bwd L (ct 3).
2Repeat action of meas 1.
3Turning to face ctr, step R swd (ct 1); step L across R (ct 2); step R swd (ct 3).
4Step L in back of R (ct 1); step R swd (ct 2); step L across R (ct 3).
5Step R swd (ct 1); step L next to R heel (ct 2); step in place R (ct 3).
6Hop R bringing L leg up and slightly across in front with a small circular motion (ct 1); step L next to R (ct 2); step R next to L (ct 3).
7Repeat action of meas 6.
8Turning to face diag L, step L (ct 1); step back R (ct 2); leaving R in place and bending knees slightly, step in place L taking wt partially on both and leaning slightly fwd (ct 3).
9-15Repeat action of meas 1-7.
16Repeat action of meas 8 except that dancers remain facing and do not lean fwd.
1Facing and moving twd ctr, small bounce on L pushing wt partially onto ball of R extended to R (ct 1); small bounce on L with R still touching floor out to R (ct 2); small leap fwd onto R (ct 3).
2Repeat action of meas 1 fwd with opp ftwk.
3-4Repeat action of meas 1-2.
5Moving bwd away from ctr, small bounce on L pushing wt partially onto ball of R extended to R (ct 1); small bounce on L with R still touching floor out to R (ct 2); small leap bwd onto R (ct 3).
6Repeat action of meas 5 with opp ftwk.
7-8Repeat action of meas 5-6.
9-16Repeat action of meas 1-8.
1Hop L extending R diag to R in air (ct 1); hop L bringing R in back of L calf (ct 3).
2Step R in back of L (ct 1); step L slightly swd (ct 2); step R across L (ct 3).
3-4Repeat action of meas 1-2 with opp ftwk.
5-8Repeat action of meas 1-4.
9Small Šop-style Pas-de-basque R.
10Small Šop-style Pas-de-basque L.
11Step fwd R (ct 1); hop R bringing L knee up in front with slight body twist to R (ct 3).
12Repeat action of meas 11 with opp ftwk.
13-14Repeat action of meas 9-10.
15Bending fwd slightly, dance small scissor-steps: Step in place R extending L low fwd (ct 1); step L next to L extending R low fwd (ct 2); step R next to L extending L low fwd (ct 3).
16Repeat action of meas 15 with opp ftwk.
1Facing slightly R, hop L touching R heel to floor diag out to R (ct 1-2); hop L bringing R heel to shin--W low, M with knee turned out and thigh parallel to floor (ct 3).
2Hop L (ct 1); step R next to L (ct 2); step L across R with quick bend of supporting knee and leaving R back in place (ct 3).
3Step R back in place (ct 1); step L next to R (ct 2); turning to face slightly L, step R across L with quick bend of supporting knee (ct 3).
4-6Repeat action of meas 1-3 with opp ftwk.
7Repeat action of meas 1.
8Facing ctr with ft together, dance three small bounces in place on heels (cts 1,2,3).
9-12Repeat action of Fig II, meas 5-8 moving bwd.
13-15Repeat action of meas 1-3 but end facing to L in RLOD.
16Facing to L with ft together, dance three small bounces in place leaning over slightly on the third (cts 1,2,3).
 Repeat entire dance from beg.
 On the last two meas of Fig II, as dancers move bwd they may wish to raise their elbows in back and squeeze the ends of the line twd the middle,

Then, the dancers lean away from and look twd the extended leg in Fig III during meas 1,3,5, and 7. On meas 8, dancers then spread out to normal belt-hold pos. On meas 9-10, the Šop-style pas-de-basque may move slightly fwd and then the step fwd on meas 11-12 may be quite large.

These variations in style are especially nice when performing where there is a large free space in front of the dancers. It is recommended that dancers NOT move fwd excessively in a recreational setting where there is not much dancing space.

Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes