PRONUNCIATION: kyoo-sten-DEEL-skuh ruh-cheh-NEE-tsuh TRANSLATION: Dance with hand and arm movements from the area of the town of Kjustendil. SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Dick Crum. Jaap Leegwater, who learned the basic dance from Maria Eftimova at the State Choreographers Dance School in Sofia and later observed additional variations in various villages in the Šopluk region, has also taught the dance. BACKGROUND: Kjustendil is in the Šopluk ethnographic region of western Bulgaria, about 20 kilometers from the border with Macedonia to the southwest and about the same distance from Serbia to the northwest.
Kjustendilska Rŭčenica (or râčenica) has movements typical of the dances of the Šopi peoples of western Bulgaria. Variants of the dance are Gjuševska Rŭčenica, Kopče, Kopčeto, Kjustendilska na lesa, and Šopska Rŭčenica. This dance is also typical of the Šop area in that its basic motif is in ten measures, a motif that is also found in such dances as Graovsko horo, Sitno šopsko horo, and Za pojas.
MUSIC: Many good Kjustendilska Rŭčenica recordings have been produced on records, CDs, and cassettes, and many remain currently available from your music supplier. Here are a few:
NAMA 1 (LP) 1001, Side 1, Band 5
Balkan-Arts (LP) MK 6G 1; Side B, Band 7
Balkanton (LP) BHA 340; Side 2, Band 3 (Atanas Vulcev)
Balkanton (LP) BHA 402; Side 2, Band 4 (Boris Karlov)
Leegwater; Pan Bulgarian Folk Dances (cass) JL 1987.02
Nevofoon (LP) 15007; Side 2, Band 2 (Ensemble Iskra)
XOPO (LP) X-LP-1; Side 1, Band 4
Sheet Music: Holt, Marcus B.: Orchestral Melodies for Gajda, Gadulka, Kaval, and Tambura: 1977, includes Kyustendilska Ruchenitsa
FORMATION: Open cir or line of mixed M and W with hands joined and held down at sides in "V" pos or with hands holding neighbor's belts, R arm under. The dancers on the ends may hold their belts, place free hand on hip (fingers fwd and thumb back for W, or fingers dn and thumb fwd for men), or wave a handkerchief (or scarf) called a "rŭčenic." The rŭčenic, often fringed, is a part of the costume in many areas of Bulgaria. Dancers may hold the rŭčenic by opposite corners and twirl it, or hold it by one corner and flourish it grandly. METER/RHYTHM: The 7/16 rŭčenica rhythm is the most popular irregular dance rhythm in Bulgaria. It consists of two beats of two counts followed by one beat of three counts (2+2+3=7). These three major beats are counted in the step descriptions which follow as three dancer's counts of two quicks and a slow (QQS). The tempo of the Rŭčenica can be very slow, or very fast, or anywhere in between. STEPS/STYLE: This dance is done with small and energetic steps. The upper body bends slightly fwd at the hips in coordination with the leg movements and ftwk. The shldrs are relaxed and tend to gently bounce with the action of the steps.
ČUKČE (CHOOK-cheh): A Čukče is similar to a low hop, except that the ball of the ft does not leave the floor.
GRAOVKA (gra-OHV-kuh): The Graovka is a hop-step-step with the hop being a Čukče as described above but with the free ft touching the floor next to or slightly fwd beside the supporting ft.
MEAS MOVEMENT DESCRIPTION BASIC DANCE 1-2 Facing diag L, dance 2 Graovka steps bwd in LOD. 3-4 Turning to face diag R, dance 2 Rŭčenica steps fwd in LOD. Čukče L while turning to face ctr (ct uh); 5 Step R slightly swd in LOD, bending knees slightly (ct 1); pause (ct 2); hop R bringing L knee up in front of R and swing L ft across in front of R (ct 3). 6 Hop R moving slightly to L, while L knee remains in front of R (ct 1); step L swd (ct 2); step R across L, bending knees (ct 3). 7 Hop R, moving slightly to L (ct 1); step L swd (ct 2); step R in back of L without bending knees (ct 3). Čukče R while still facing ctr (ct uh); 8 Step L swd (ct 1); pause (ct 2); hop L, bringing R knee up in front of L and swing R across in front of L (ct 3). 9 Pressing ball of R ft onto floor next to L but somewhat fwd, and keeping R knee straight, Čukče L (ct 1); Čukče L (ct 2); step R fwd or diag across L (ct 3). 10 Repeat action of meas 9 with opp ftwk, ending with the body turning to face diag L in preparation for repeating the action from meas 1. Repeat entire dance from beg. VARIATIONS GLOBKA (GLOHB-kuh) - "clicks" 9 Close and click R to L, straightening knees and taking wt momentarily onto both (ct 1); pause (ct 2); Čukče L (ct 3). 10 Repeat action of meas 9, ending with the body turning to face diag L in preparation for repeating the dance from the beg. NOŠICA (NOH-shee-tsuh) - "scissors" Čukče R while still facing ctr (ct uh); 8 Light jump on both ft together in place, bending knees slightly (ct 1); pause (ct 2); Čukče L, extending R fwd close to floor with toe dn (ct 3). 9 Small leap R in place, extending L fwd close to floor with toe dn (ct 1); small leap L in place, extending R fwd close to floor with toe dn (ct 2); small leap R in place, extending L fwd close to floor with toe dn (ct 3).
NOTE: Body leans slightly fwd from hips with this action.
10 Repeat action of meas 9 with opp ftwk, ending with the body turning to face diag L in preparation for repeating the dance from the beg. KRŬOVKE (kruh-OHV-keh) - "circles" Čukče R while still facing ctr (ct uh); 8 Light jump on both ft together in place, bending knees slightly (ct 1); pause (ct 2); Čukče L, swinging extended R leg across L (ct 3). 9 Hop L, quickly swinging R in an arc behind L (ct 1); step R behind L, extending L fwd (ct 2); step L next to R (ct 3). 10 Repeat action of meas 9 ending with the body turning to face diag L in preparation for repeating the dance from the beg.
Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes