Encyclopedia of dance: Round dance


Round dance is not just a dance, it is a way of life of our ancestors. It reflected the breadth and prowess of the Slavic soul

The folk choreographic art of Russia has a large number of dances, dances and dances. But the round dance stands apart among them, as one of the most ancient dances, leading its history from the hoary depths of centuries.

History of occurrence

The term «round dance» comes from the ancient Greek «χορ?s», which means «mass dance with a song» and the Old Slavonic «vod», which means «to walk, drive.» The round dance has an ancient history, and the history of Ancient Russia was displayed in the round dances themselves. Whatever our ancestors did, they reflected their actions in legends, which, in turn, were reflected in folk dance performances. Merry feasts, feats of arms or working days — all this was reproduced in majestic round dances, processions in a circle.

Perhaps one of the most ancient references to the dance is in the legend of the guslar about the Moravian kingdom. The narrator mentions young people who gathered on the lakes and «did round dances and played in circles.» And all this exciting action took place on rafts!

The first round dances were a pagan hymn to the Sun. The main figure of the dance — walking in a circle — symbolized our daylight, and the dance itself glorified the source of light and heat, on which the harvest depended. This dance accompanied the life of our ancestors three seasons a year: spring, summer and autumn, and only in winter did the games in nature stop.

What is a round dance?

The round dance is a mass dance. Young people, middle-aged people, and even old people take part in it. Dance music is usually slow, melodic, lyrical. The musical size is more often used 4/4, but sometimes 2/4, less often 3/4. The dance is often accompanied by singing.

A large role in the round dance is given to the round dance — a woman who enjoys universal respect, thanks to which she has earned the right to lead the dance. At other times, a round dance dancer can be a matchmaker at weddings, a woman-call at feasts, a godmother at christenings. The main figures of the round dance are walking in a circle. The round dance leads the dancers walking in one large circle, then breaking it into several small ones, and again converges into one large circle.

In the old days, round dances were held in special places, each of which received its own name. These were lakes, rivers, lawns, groves, wastelands, gardens, courtyards. In some places, only festive round dances gathered, in others — everyday ones. For festive round dances, the villagers baked pies, loaves, dyed eggs yellow.

round dance

Types of round dance

This dance is truly universal, and in one form or another, under different names, is found among many nationalities. So, in Bulgaria, the round dance is called horo, in Moldova — hora, khure, in Lithuania — karogod, in Serbia — kolo, which means “circle” in translation. The round dance is known under various names in Macedonia, Croatia, Georgia and other countries. In each of these countries, the round dance has absorbed national characteristics and originality.

There are female and mixed round dances. Young guys can take part in the round dance only at the invitation of the round dance. This is a great opportunity for them to get to know the girl they like, with her surroundings and relatives.

Round dance features

In the round dance, the national features of the Slavic peoples appeared — majestic modesty, and, at the same time, openness, daring, revelry, enthusiasm. In former times, this dance was a peculiar form of social life. Round dance is not just a dance. This is the way of life of our ancestors. During the dance, urgent problems were discussed, acquaintances were made, meetings with relatives and friends took place. Young people actively used this action to establish romantic relationships, meeting with their loved ones.

For this action, girls and women dressed in their best clothes, specially bought colorful ribbons, scarves, even if they had to spend their last money for this.

Currently, round dances are performed mainly on stage. I am glad that recently there has been a tendency towards the revival of folk traditions in everyday life.

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