Encyclopedia of Dance: Jock


The temperamental and fast movements of the “Jok” dance seem to be saturated with the energy of the southern Moldavian sun, permeated with the aroma of vineyards and flowering gardens.

Dance «Zhok» (Mold. Joc) is a Moldavian folk dance. Folk dances of Moldova are as spectacular and bright as the nature of this amazingly beautiful region. Historically, Moldova bordered on the Austrian Empire, Romania and Bukovina. Accordingly, the musical and dance culture of these countries has much in common. Nevertheless, choreographers and choreographers are sensitive to their national color, protect and promote their original creativity.

The history of the dance

Like any folk dance, «Zhok» originated in the hoary mists of time. Moldovans take care of their traditions and culture, cherish their song and dance art, improve it, fill old songs and dances with new content that meets the needs of modern man.

The dance «Jok» is one of the most famous and beloved dances in Moldova and beyond. It is so popular that this word began to be called a mass celebration, a folk dance festival. This holiday serves as an occasion for young people to get together, to show their singing, musical and dancing art, which Moldova is so famous for. On this holiday, young people dance mainly simple dances that are accessible to everyone. The main goal of the festival is to give every guest the opportunity to join the wonderful, temperamental melodies and rhythms of Moldovan songs and dances.

Along with the dance, which bears the same name «Zhok», many other popular dances are performed at the festivities. Many of them reflect the theme of labor: «Chebonash» — the dance of shepherds, «Poama» — the dance of winegrowers, «Tebekaryaska» — the dance of tanners. There are heroic dances — «Gayducheska»; lyrical female — «Chorus»; men’s — «Betuta». But the most common, most beloved and most famous all over the world are dances that reflect the temperament of the Moldovan people, their enthusiasm and passion: the dances «Moldovenyaska», «Zhok» and «Betuta».

The State Academic Folk Dance Ensemble of Moldova, which bears the same name, contributed to the popularity and fame of the Zhok dance in the world. The ensemble was created in 1945 in Chisinau, and in 1953, at the 4th World Festival of Youth and Students, which took place in Bucharest, the ensemble «Zhok» took 1st place. Two years later, the ensemble was awarded the title of Honored Group of Moldova.

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What is the dance «Jok»?

Like most Moldovan dances, the Zhok dance is a mass dance. The musical accompaniment is in 2/4 time, the tempo gradually accelerates, approaching an enchanting and brilliant finale. The most common construction in the composition of the Zhok dance is a large general circle, from which the dancers are rebuilt into small circles, forming various weaves, shengs, moving to the center of the circle and back. Quite often, two concentric circles are used in the Zhok dance: girls can be in one of them, and boys can be in the other. From the circle, the dancers can diverge into lines that move towards each other.

The characteristic features of Moldovan dances are the Moldovan track, rope, steps with a jump and others. In a word, the choreographer has a place to show his imagination: the movements and combinations of Moldovan dances are as diverse and colorful as the region where they originated.

Types of dance «Jok»

Each region of Moldova has its own version of the dance. There is a dance of the old people or «Jock Batrynesk». There is a comic jock or «Jock de glume». Famous «Jock Mare» — big Jock, «Jock de dragoste» — dance of love and others.

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