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Re: Looking for Dance Info: "Broyges Tantz"


Personally, I don't pay close attention to footwork.  Yes the rhythm 
is 1,2,3,rest, which translates into a step, step, step, hold, but 
the important thing is the body language.  We do some stamping, when 
it suits the actions we are miming, and those stamps should be in the 
rhythm of the music, but I wouldn't be as specific as 
"step-close-step."  And, pointing the toe could be used to comic 
effect to indicate that you are about to change direction, but only 
if it suits the emotions you are acting out.

Back in the days when I was heavily into Balkan folk dancing, I 
traveled to what was then Yugoslavia.  I went to the village of 
Berovo because I had learned a dance called Berovka which was 
purportedly from that village.  Some old guys in a cafe showed me 
some dances they did which as far as I could tell were completely 
improvised.  Some young folks held a weekly dance in a neighboring 
village where they learned choreographed dances in the style that the 
old guys danced.  The dance I had learned in America was one of the 
steps that the young folks did.

Choreographers observe, notate and teach a snapshot of what they see 
in the village or shtetl, and this is valuable because they preserve 
knowledge of traditions, especially for those who weren't able to 
receive it directly.  But in the shtetl, the dance takes life and 
changes with the day and the person dancing.  This is my take on 
Broygez tants.  It has to say what you are feeling.  Every time Peggy 
and I do it, it's a little different. If we did it exactly the same 
every time, it would lose its impact.

When I taught it to a group of kids at Camp Kinderland, I told them, 
within the basic structure, "act as if you are having a fight with 
your best friend", and pay attention to the music for your timing. So 
what if you do stamp-hold, stamp-hold instead of step-close-step. 
Dance with kavone (intention as when davening).

Gut Shabbos and gut yor,

Yosl (Joe) Kurland
The Wholesale Klezmer Band
Colrain, MA 01340
voice/fax: 413-624-3204
Please include your USPS address and phone number in your email 
signature on all business correspondence.

Zayt gezunt (be healthy),

Yosl (Joe) Kurland
The Wholesale Klezmer Band
Colrain, MA 01340
voice/fax: 413-624-3204

At 12:14 PM -0700 9/13/02, helen winkler wrote:
>I wonder if you can comment on the footwork used in the broyges.  A couple
>of the folkdance descriptions I have, use a step-close-step, sometimes
>followed by a stamp or  pointing the toe as the travelling step during
>portions of the dance.  Do you think this was the way it was done or do you
>think this is an invention of the choreographers?  It seems to feel good
>with the music, especially the stamping version but I wonder if it is

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