An Dro
(Brittany)

[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Alternative Names 'An Dro' is a traditional spelling.
'En Dro' is an alternative traditional spelling.
Formation Circle. Close little-fingers V-hold.
Dance Structure Short sequence repeated throughout the music.
Music Structure 4 counts/bar, 4 bar phrases.
Music Speed About 190 counts/min.
Translation 'An'/'En' means 'full' (as distinguished from the 'Hanter' (half) 'Dro').
Source Numerous places. Last time before writing this was from Yves Leblanc at the 2004 Eastbourne International Folk Festival.

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught.

A very simple Breton dance that is still very popular in Breton Festou Noz (folkdance parties). It is pretty boring once the arms motions have been got used to and traditionally goes on monotonously for hours but it was not designed as the sole entertainment in Fest Noz but as a background for beer drinking which is not taxing on the mental abilities of drunks unused to dancing (much like clubbing disco dances are). Alternatively it can done without musical accompaniment with the dancers singing. This can be a lot more challenging, especially if one does not speak Breton!

Although I've written it as 4 counts per bar & it is 4 beats per bar in conventional Western music notation, it is normally counted as 3 counts, the 3rd one being twice the length of the first 2, because that is how the feet go & the music matches.

The constant stepping to the sides can cause fatigue in the legs (particularly the R knee) because of the sideways force needed. The solution is to maintain a small side to side swinging of the hips (swinging onto the side of the foot that weight is being transferred onto as the foot goes onto the ground). This is enough to lift the other foot for next low step without much knee effort and temporarily stores the energy during the pause in the slow direction changing steps.

Style: Casual & rather clumpy. Flat footed small low steps. Rock onto supporting leg during the slow steps.

Introduction

None. Dancers traditionally join in & leave when they feel like it.

Whole Sequence

Summary: Triple Step to the side L & R with arm movements.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Weight on R foot. Arms vertically down
1
Feet
1 L to the side.
2 R close.
3 L to the side.
4 Pause. (This and the previous count together are normally counted as simply a slow step but in style it is more like step followed by a pause as the weight support rocks onto the L foot, teeters, and falls to the R naturally into the first step of bar 2 with a suspended feeling inbetween.)
Arms
1 Swing arms up infront starting to bend elbows.
2 Continue swinging arms up & bending elbows to reach the top of the swing with hands at about shoulder height and a forearm's distance infront of the shoulders.
3 Continue the swing & bend bringing the hands into close to the chest at mid-chest level.
4 Briskly push hands forwards horizontally about 20 cm and firmly stop them there.
2 Repeat footwork of bar 1 in mirror image on the opposite feet (R side, L close, R side) with reversed arm motion (in, up, out & down to V-hold again) but take smaller steps so there is a net progression to the L (cw around the circle) in the dance.

I find the easiest way to imagine the arm motion is like latching in a '⅁' (upside down 'G') shape path.