Hora Veche
(Romania)

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

Alternative Names 'Hora Veche' is the commonly used name.
'Hora Veche 1' it is sometimes called to distinguish it from a later dance with the same name.
'Hora Anton Pann' is an alternative name (possibly Vasilescu's original).
Formation Open circle. W- & V- hold.
Dance Structure (A + (B x 2) + BC + (C x 2) + CA) x 2 + A.
Music Structure 4 counts/bar, varied length phrases.
Music Speed 145 counts/min.
Music 'Pînă cînd nu te iubeam', a traditional song collected/arranged by Anton Pann & published in 1852. In particular, the recording by Maria Tănase (on the album 'Malédiction d'Amour').
Choreographer Theodor Vasilescu, based on a dance described by Anton Penn.
Translation 'Hora Veche' means 'old circle-dance'.
Source Danced it many times with Sally Fletcher (who learnt it from Silviu Ciuciumiş) & Jan Savage in Ipswich, UK. This particular write-up is based on Sally's footwork & timing notes combined with arms from a casual video of Jan. The tune name was found via sheet music on 'folkloretanznoten.de'.

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 dance to hauntingly effective music. Strangely the dance feels slow & somewhat serene but it is actually rather active & complex.

It was well established in the UK repertoire but around 2010 another dance with the same name was popularised in North America & Europe. With that being in the web video era rather than the pencil-&-paper era, it is the latter dance which currently far dominates web search results for 'Hora Veche' dance steps. Frankly it surprising that there aren't many more dances given the generic name.

The dance is considered, at least by the Ipswich group, as followable (it is sometimes used near an evening ending) but it is tricky for the leader/teacher because it has several parts which either don't repeat in a fully symmetric way or are confusingly similar, but not the same, as other parts and the music has varied length phrases.

My division of the dance into parts is just how I tried to make a clear pattern of it. Sally divided it up differently, Jan did not divide it up and I don't know how Silviu divided it. What I have called Parts 'BC' & 'CA' are the transition steps between the major parts. Part BC is a repeat of the start of Part B but then aborted whereas Part CA is a repeat of the end of Part C but on opposite feet. These transitions are the easiest aspects of the dance to forget.

The sheet music I've seen has it as 2/4 time but I count it as 4 counts per bar and have used the latter counting here.

Style: Smooth, quiet. Feels gentle but actually moves quite fast.

Introduction

Summary: 2 bars then 8 bars.

2 bars (8 counts) before the main theme starts then 8 bars (32 counts) of Part A music. It then immediately cuts short the Part A music back to the start of it (which can leave some people surprised that the dancing has started).

Part A

Summary: W-hold. On L ft. (R slow back-bike to close, mirror. Grapevine starting R across infront.) x 3 ending in V-hold. 3 steps in & lift raising arms. Ditto backwards out lowering. (Ditto R forwards raising. Ditto L forwards lowering) x 1.5.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Weight on L foot. W-hold.
1
1-2 R back-bicycling lift ending with R close.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 in mirror image (L back-bicycling lift ending with close).
2
1 R across infront.
2 L to the side.
3 R across behind.
4 L to the side. (The steps of this bar comprise a Grapevine step.)
3-6
Feet Repeat bars 1-2 (R slow back-bike to close, mirror; Grapevine.) twice (making 3 sets in total).
Arms During final Grapevine (bar 6) smoothly down to V-hold.
7
Feet
1 R forwards.
2 L forwards.
3 R forwards.
4 L small lift beside R foot.
Arms Smoothly up to W-hold.
8 Repeat bar 7 but on opposite feet & travelling backwards (L back, R back , L back, R lift) while lowering arms to V-hold
9 Having turned 90 deg cw to face acw around the circle, repeat bar 7 (R L R forwards, L lift; while raising arms).
10 Having turned 180 deg acw to face cw around the circle, repeat bar 8 but going forwards (L R L forwards, R lift; while raising arms).
11 As bar 9 (having turned 180 deg cw to face acw around the circle, R L R forwards, L lift; while raising arms).

Part B

Summary: W-hold. On R ft. L slow diag forwards, R touch infront & side infront. R lift, R forwards, L across infront, R in place. (L backwards, pause), mirror. L side, R close, L side, R close touch. Facing L; (R back, pause), mirror. Facing centre; 2 Cherkessias. (R side, L across behind with bobbing arms) x 2.5, pause.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Weight on L foot. W-hold.
1
1-2 Facing 45 deg acw of the direction to the centre of circle, L forwards slow.
3 Touch the ball of the R ft to the ground infront.
4 Touch the ball of the R ft to the side infront.
2
1 R lift.
2 Facing the centre of the circle, R forwards.
3 L across infront.
4 R in place.
3
1 L backwards.
2 Pause.
3 R backwards.
4 Pause.
4
1 L to the side.
2 R close.
3 L to the side.
4 R close without weight transfer.
5
1 Having turned 90 deg acw to face cw around the circle, R backwards.
2 Pause.
3 L backwards.
4 Pause.
6
1 Having turned 90 deg cw to face the centre of the circle, R to the side.
2 L across infront.
3 R in place.
4 L to the side.
7
1 R across infront.
2 L in place. (Together with the previous 5 steps, this comprises 2 Cherkessias.)
3
Feet R to the side.
Arms Hand bob up slightly emphasising the step.
4
Feet L across behind.
Arms Return to normal W-hold height.
8
1-3 Repeat bar 7 counts 3-4 1.5 more times (R side, L across behind, R side with bobbing arms).
4
Feet Pause. Actually this is not a complete stop but smoothly start the move of the L foot into the slow L step at the start of the next Part B or Part BC.
Arms Return to normal W-hold height.

Part BC

Summary: Part B bar 1. R lift, back R L R lowering arms.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Weight on L foot. W-hold.
1 As Part B bar 1 (L slow diag forwards, R touch infront & side infront).
2
1 As Part B bar 2 count 1 (R lift).
2-4
Feet
2 R backwards.
3 L backwards.
4 R backwards.
Arms Down to V-hold.

Part C

Summary: V-hold. On R ft. 3 steps in & lift raising arms. Ditto backwards out lowering. Facing L, forwards L, pause, R, pause, L, R, L, pause. Facing centre, R side, L stamp across, L side, R stamp. R touch across behind, pause, R brush forwards into lift. Mirror the travelling around.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Weight on L foot. V-hold.
1-2 As Part A bars 7-8 but in mirror image on the opposite feet (L R L in, R lift; raising arms. R L R out backwards, L lift; lowering arms.).
3
1 Having turned 90 deg acw to face cw around the circle, L forwards
2 Pause.
3 R forwards.
4 Pause.
4
1 L forwards
2 R forwards.
3 L forwards.
4 Pause.
5
1 Having turned 90 deg cw to face the centre of the circle, R to the side.
2 Turning 45 deg cw, L stamp close without weight transfer.
3 Turning 45 deg acw to face the centre of the circle, L to the side.
4 R stamp close without weight transfer.
6
1 Touch R toes to the ground across behind.
2 Pause.
3-4 Brush R ft forwards into a lift.
7-8 Having turned 90 deg cw to face acw around the circle, repeat bars 3-4 but in mirror image travelling the other way around the circle on the opposite feet (facing acw, forwards R, pause, L, pause, R, L, R, pause).

Part CA

Summary: As Part C last bar but on opposite feet.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Weight on L foot. V-hold.
1 As Part C bar 8 but on the opposite feet (facing acw, forwards L, pause, R, pause, L, R, L, pause).