PRONUNCIATION: zhok deh LEH-guh-neh
TRANSLATION: Dance of the cradle
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Nicolaas Hilferink who learned it from Theodor Vasilescu.
BACKGROUND: This dance is a ceremonial dance from Maramureş. Maramureş is a valley totally enclosed by mountains. Oaş, Gutâi, Ţibleş and Rodnei to the west and south, Maramureş Mountains and Ukrainian Carpathians (Wooded Carpathians) to the east and north, with a thin opening at Khust, a city located on the Khustets River. It is forested and not easily accessible. The dance honors the midwife on her birthday. It is believed that when a child reaches 1 to 1-1/2 years of age, the village women would gather, put their children in front of their chests, and do this ceremonial dance to show that their children were strong and in good health.
MUSIC:Electrocord (LP) ST-CS 0185, side A, band 9. (NOTE: The label on the first pressing of this record was incorrect, however, the album cover is correct.)
FORMATION:Cir of W facing diag to R, L hand on own L shldr, R arm extended neighbor to the R with R hand grasping neighbor's L hand.
STEPS/STYLE: Mr. Hilferink writes, "If men insist on dancing [Joc de Leagane], they should dance on the outside of the women's circle."


1-16No action.
1Facing to R and moving in LOD, touch R next to L (ct 1); step R fwd (ct 2);
2Touch L next to R (ct 1); step L fwd (ct 2);
3Step R fwd (ct 1); step L fwd (ct 2);
4Step R fwd (ct 1); step L next to R (ct &); step R fwd (ct 2).
5-8Continuing in LOD, repeat action of meas 1-4 with opp ftwk.
1Turning to face ctr and raising hands above head height, step R swd, leaving L in place (ct 1); lean over R (ct 2);
2Transfer wt to L (ct 1); lean over L (ct 2);
3Transfer wt to R with slight lean to R (ct 1); step L next to R, straightening body (ct 2);
4Step R swd (ct 1); lean over R (ct 2);
5-7Repeat action of Fig II, meas 1-3, with opp ftwk;
8Step L swd (ct 1); close R to L without wt (ct 2).
1Facing ctr, step R bwd, beginning to slowly lower hands twd "W" pos (ct 1); step L bwd, continuing to slowly lower hands (ct 2);
2Small step R bwd, leaving L in place and continuing to slowly lower hands (ct 1); transfer wt fwd onto L (ct &); transfer wt bwd to R, ending with hands in "W" pos (ct 2);
3-4Repeat action of Fig III, meas 1-2, fwd with opp ftwk, raising hands high;
5Turning to face R and moving to R in LOD, step R fwd (ct 1); step L fwd (ct 2) step R next to L (ct &)
6Continuing in LOD, step L fwd (ct 1); step R fwd (ct 2);
7Continuing in LOD, step L fwd (ct 1); step R fwd (ct 2); step L next to R (ct &);
8Continuing in LOD, step R fwd (ct 1); step L fwd (ct 2).
1Continuing in LOD, step R(ct 1); step L (ct &); step R (ct 2); lightly stamp L next to R without wt (ct &);
2Turning to face L in RLOD, step L (ct 1); step R fwd (ct 2);
3-4Turning to face L and moving in RLOD, repeat action of Fig IV, meas 1-2, with opp ftwk;
5Turning to face R and moving in LOD, step R fwd, swaying arms slightly away from ctr (ct 1); step L fwd, swaying arms slightly twd ctr (ct 2);
6-8Repeat action of Fig IV, meas 5, three more times, slowly lowering arms to "W" pos on final meas.
 Turning to face R in LOD and placing hands in Formation pos, repeat entire dance from beg.


Dance of the Cradle

/ Mama cînd m-o leganat,
Numai de dor mi-o cîntat. /
/ Mi-o cîntat de dor si-o plîns.
Dorul de mine s-o prins. /
/ De cînd port dor la inima, /
Numai am nici o hodina,
Nici la prinz si nici la cina.
/ Cite doruri rele-s grele.
Tate-s pa bratele mele. /
/ Altul moare de batrîn,
Nu sti dorul de ce-i bun. /
/ Dar eu stiu ca l-am purtat
De cîd mama mi-o cîntat. /
Ai la la la la . . .
  When my mother was rocking me,
She was singing of longing.
She was singing of longing and I cried.
I've been caught by longing.
Since my heart is longing,
I have no respite
Neither at noon nor at evening.
How many longings? All are deep and bad.
All are in my arms.
One dies being old
Not knowing what's the good of longing.
But I know I've carried it
Since my mother sang.
Ai la la la la . . .

Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes