Hora de pe almăj

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

Alternative Names 'Hora de pe almăj' is the original spelling.
'Hora de pe almaj' is it reduced to ASCII by missing off the accents.
Formation Circle. W-hold.
Dance Structure Short sequence repeated throughout the music.
Music Structure 4 counts/bar, 4 bar phrases.
Music Speed 160 counts/min (It sounds a lot faster because there are lots of notes per count!).
Source Nick Green & Liz Mellish at their 2001 November Romanian dance course at Cecil Sharpe House, London.

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 Nick Green & Liz Mellish.

This has a very short and very very simple sequence but the timing is very syncopated by Western musical standards. Therefore it can be done with any group but is still a challenge for those naturally musical in the Western traditions (those, like me, who are not naturally musical will not have much difficulty as, to us, the alternative timing is no more or less natural than normal timing).

The syncopation is essentially that all steps are done one beat later than they would normally be done in Western Europe (i.e. triple steps start on beat 2 not beat 1 of bars & slow steps are on beats 2 & 4 not beats 1 & 3). It needs the leader to maintain the syncopation even if others don't so that it does not degenerate into a simple plain unsyncopated dance. I find the easiest place to keep in time is the final L front across step of the sequence for which the foot is put down on the clear first beat of the first bar of the next repeat.

Don't do it on a floor where footsteps are loud because the footsteps will then dominate the musical beat and people will just do it unsyncopated to the sound of footsteps ignoring the fact that it is syncopated to the musical beat.

Whole Sequence

Summary: Start R foot. Two slow steps inwards & triple step in place. Ditto outwards. Do it all one beat late.

Start Diagonally R of line to centre.
2-3 R forwards slow.
4-1 L forwards slow.
2-3 R L in place.
4-1 R in place slow.
3 Face centre & repeat the two slow steps (bar 1 beat 2 to bar 2 beat 1) with R & L swapped travelling backwards.
4 Repeat the triple steps in place (bar 2 beat 4 to next bar 1 beat 1) with R & L swapped. Turn ready to start again by crossing L front across on the last step. This last step feels as if it is is lengthened slightly by starting slightly early by quickening the second step of the triple step.

The above is how I remembered it from the class. Nick & Liz's handout in Roma notation was identical except that the slow steps were steps followed by pauses. Maybe it was just a notational variation or maybe I remembered the style as smooth when it should have been staccato. Anyway, the basic steps & timing are the same.