TRANSLATION: Squeezing Rŭčenica
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Jaap Leegwater (pronounced YAHP LAYK-vah-ter) at the 1984 San Diego State University Folk Dance Conference. Jaap, from the Netherlands, learned this dance in 1979 in Squizkovo, a suburb of the Black Sea resort city of Varna in Dobrudža (also known as Dobrudja), Bulgaria.
BACKGROUND: Jaap's local informants stated that the dance was most often seen on the beaches of Varna, in private bath houses, and once in a while in resort hotel rooms, between consenting adults. It is sometimes known as "Dobrudžanski Sej Sej Bon." The stylized movements represent culinary actions performed by makers of the rich dough that comes from the vast "Bulgarian Bread-Basket" wheat fields of Dobrudža.

It must be noted here that this dance is never seen in village festivals or in ritualistic celebrations.

MUSIC: Any good Northeast Bulgarian rŭčenica with a good strong pounding beat.
FORMATION: Closed circle of participants of mixed gender, facing RLOD (CW, to L, etc.) and joined with next dancer in line with hands on near shldrs in "T" pos.
METER/RHYTHM: 7/8. Counted here as Q,Q,S (2+2+3=7) in three dancers beats. This is commonly referred to as a "rŭčenica rhythm."
STEPS/STYLE: Dobrudža is well known for its hand and arm movements withing the structure of its dances.

SQUIZENDO (SQUEEZE-en DOH): With arms extended fwd, thumbs along side with cupped fingers, clench both hands in Rŭčenica rhythm. This action is also called "Globka" (closed) because of the way the hands are closed.

NIDENDO (KNEAD-en DOH): With arms extend fwd, thumbs touching tips of fingers, alternately extend and flex elbows forcefully in rŭčenica rhythm. This action is also called "Krivo" (crooked) because of the way the body leans when it is used.

PATENDO (PAT-en DOH): With arms extended fwd, fingers together, palms fwd, alternately extend and flex wrists vigorously in rŭčenica rhythm. This action is also called "Povlekana" (sweeping) or "Brasni" (brushing), because of the brushing from side to side.

ROLENDO (ROL-en DOH): With arms fwd, fingers slightly spread, palms facing, alternately flex and extend elbows. This action is also called "Kucata" (the cripple) because of the one bent leg with which it is danced.

RŬČENICA STEP (Ruh-cheh-KNEE-tsah): Step L (ct 1); step R (ct 2); step L with slightly bent knees (ct 3). Repeat with opp ftwk. This step is also called râčenica for no known reason.

ČUKČE (CHOOK-cheh): A Bulgarian word for a low hop during which the ball of the supporting ft does not leave the dance surface.


  None or let 16 meas go by.
1-16 With hands on shldr of dancer next in line, dance 16 RŬČENICA STEPS in place (NA MYASTO) while hands do SKUIZENDO.
1 Placing tips of fingers just above shldr blades of next dancer in line and bending sdwd L at waist, dance 1 RŬČENICA STEP to L while hands do NIDENDO;
2-3 Straightening to vertical and placing tips of fingers on both sides of the center of the back of the next dancer in line, dance 2 RŬČENICA STEP in place while hands do NIDENDO;
4 Repeat meas 1 with opp lean and ftwk;
  NOTE: Participants often yell ČUKNI NA (CHOOK-nee NAH), meaning "hammer on," during meas 2-3 (twice in all).
5-16 Repeat meas 1-4, three more times.
1-4 Placing both hands on L side of back of next dancer in line and leaning slightly L, dance 4 RŬČENICA STEP sdwd L as hands do PATENDO;
5-8 Repeat meas 1-4 to R with slight lean to R;
9-16 Repeat meas 1-8.
1-8 Bending fwd low at hips with R leg extend bkwd and doing deeply flexed plie, place hands on either side of dancer's L calf with pressure and, bouncing in Rŭčenica rhythm, do ROLENDO;
9-16 Quickly switch leg pos with a 1/2 CCW turn and, with hands on next dancer's R calf, do ROLENDO.
  NOTE: This step is also known as "Hvârli i Nabivane" (throw and stamp) when hands move up to the thighs.
  Turning 1/2 CW, repeat entire dance to end of music except for last meas which is done with a
16 On final meas of music, all dancers sharply face ctr with hands joined and held extended straight up overhead like tall stalks of wheat and, snapping erect, do a high scissors-leap onto R, extending L leg straight up with pointed toe so that L knee touches tip of own nose (cts 1-2); bending sharply at hips and keeping nose to kneecap (representing the "grindstone") while R knee flexes deeply, slap L straight fwd, ft flat on dance surface, knee straight, toe pointed, head up, eyes wide, corners of mouth turned upward, teeth showing;
  Hold pos for 7 seconds.
  NOTE: Other variations are probable.

Notes and copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes