Hanter Dro
(Brittany)

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

Formation Circle. Fortress hold.
Dance Structure Short sequence repeated throughout the music.
Music Structure 6 counts/bar, various length phrases.
Music Speed About 180 counts/min.
Translation 'Hanter' means 'half' (as distinguished from the 'An' (full) '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 (even easier than the An Dro) 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 6 counts per bar & it is 6 beats bar (or maybe it is treated as 2 bars of 3 beats each) in conventional Western music notation, it is normally counted as 4 counts, the 3rd & 4th ones being twice the length of the first 2, because that is how the feet go & the music matches.

The constant stepping to the sides with changing direction can cause fatigue in the legs from the strain of coming to a halt sideways, which not a common motion for a human to repeat so much. Depending on where in ones legs one takes that strain, it can lead to discomfort in a knee (which is particularly not structured for sideways bending force) or hip. The strain may be more when moving to right than the left, or vice versa, due to the different step lengths. A solution is to maintain a small side to side motion with the hips moving like an inverted pendulum. This is a very small motion (not a distinct hip or body sway as some other dance styles have) and is effectively just the equivalent of the down-up motion that most people naturally do when walking forwards. It enables the kinetic energy to be transferred into gravitational potential energy & released back into kinetic energy travelling the other way (it is literally a human form of regenerative braking). In more detail: when stepping to the side don't change the bend of the knees or hips much but allow the momentum of the body to rock oneself slightly more to that side & slightly up; gravity will naturally aid coming to a halt and then rock you back to the other side naturally starting the step the other other way. (On the other hand some people count this explanation way too detailed for something easy & obvious to them! :-) )

The name comes from it being half a full Dro (the Triple Step to the L) then, instead of doing the same thing to the R, cut it down to just a single rock R. Traditionally it is done with men & women alternating in the circle with men's arms are over women's arms in the fortress hold but in an arbitrarily mixed set (as is normal when danced in the UK) whichever makes it the most comfortable to goes on top.

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, rock R.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Weight on R foot.
1
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.)
5-6 Repeat counts 3-4 in mirror image on the opposite feet (step R to the side and pause rocked onto it) but with the R foot slightly behind.