Gaida avasi

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

Region detail The town of Bansko in Pirin.
Dance Structure Single sequence repeated throughout the music.
Formation Open circle. V-hold.
Music Structure 2 counts/bar, 4 bars/sub-phrases, 8 bars/phrase.
Music Speed 80 counts/min increasing to 150 counts/min.
Pronunciation "g-eye-d-a Ar-v-ar-s-ee".
Source Dimitar ("Mikto") Petrov in the Dobursko in Bulgaria during the 2013 British-Bulgarian Society dance tour.

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 by Dimitar ("Mikto") Petrov.

A simple dance to an artistically developing piece of music.

The music was composed (or arranged) and recorded specifically for Mitko to do this dance to (using steps he picked up at the Koprivshitsa folk festival). The original music probably did not have the same artistic feeling because, whereas Mitko's music was played on kaval & tambura but the original was played on a zurna! It is a pity that it is so short though, shorter than is typical for a less artistically arranged & changing Balkan dance tune. I suppose that is because it was created for stage performance use, where the short step sequence would not have sustained a longer version, rather than social dancing. One complication for dancers is that at one point the melody drops out for 2 times through the sequence and the dancers (or at least the dance leader) have to remember where they are just going to the beat but the accelerando continues through that section giving a spurious feeling that one is going to come in too early when the melody returns.

In the course video Mitko mostly does the Triple Step in bar 8 travelling backwards rather than on spot but he said that was just in order to stay infront of the line of followers in the small dance area when teaching.

Style: Smooth & delicate even though it gets rather brisk at the end. The lifts are somewhat staccato though. The steps (2 walks & 2 Triple Steps) of bars 1-3 are done, until the music starts to speed up, with a soft down-up feel done by an exaggerated flexing of the knee of the stepping leg after taking weight on it & restraightening the knee before later taking the weight off it. Once the music starts to speed up that ornamentation ceases.


Summary: None.

Start immediately or after any number of whole phrases (8 bars). The most obvious place is at the start of bar 17 where the full instrumentation clearly starts up.

Whole sequence

Summary: Facing to the R & starting F ft, forwards in 2 steps & 2 Triple Steps. Facing centre, R close, L lift swing behind with arms to W-hold. L across behind, R side. Facing L, L forwards, R lift infront straight. Facing R, L lift by calf. Triple Step quick-quick-slow on spot with arms to V-hold.

Start Facing acw around the circle. Weight on L foot. V-hold.
1 R forwards.
2 L forwards.
1 R forwards.
2 L in place (this bar comprises a triple step but does not travel much in the 2nd half; more of a rocking forwards & backwards).
& R forwards.
3 Repeat bar 2 in mirror image (L, R, L Triple Step forwards acw around the circle).
1 R close turning to facing the centre of the circle.
& Pause. (This gives more a feeling of dramatic lift afterwards than simply taking the whole count to do the R close.)
Feet L lift swing it out round across behind whilst temporarily raising a little by a straightening of the R knee to give a feeling of the body raising up & over not just the leg).
Arms Rise to W-hold.
1 L across behind taking the weight.
2 R to the side.
1 L across infront. During this commence gathering momentum to swivel acw.
2 R lift infront while using its momentum to continue the 90 deg acw swivel to face cw around the circle. The lift ends with the knee straight, foot horizontal and the raised leg about 30 cm in front of the plane of the supporting leg.
& Pause.
1 R forwards. During this commence gathering momentum to swivel cw.
2 L lift with a slight backwards bicycling motion while using its momentum to continue the 180 deg cw swivel to face acw around the circle. The lift ends with the foot dipped and beside the calf of the supporting leg.
1 L in place.
& R in place.
2 L in place.
Arms Return to V-hold.