Malo Vlaško Kolo

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

Alternative Names 'Malo Vlaško Kolo' is the original spelling.
'Malo Vlashko Kolo' is an English transcription.
'Malo Vlasko Kolo' is it reduced to ASCII by missing off the accents.
Formation Open circle, belt-hold (W-hold or shoulder-hold will do).
Dance Structure A x 2 + (B + C x 2) x 3 + D x 4 + E
Music Structure 4 counts/bar, 4 bar phrases. Accelerating from 100 counts/min to 200 counts/min.
Music Speed Accelerating.
Translation Short Vlach Circle Dance.
Source Paja Milić at the 2000 Bognor Regis Paja & Madelon Ex-Yugoslavia dance course. A few additional details were from him at the 2004 Eastbourne International Folkdance Festival. Correction to Part D from Maureen Felton, who learnt it in the same classes as I, in 2011.

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 Paja Milić.

A Serbian dance formed of varied parts of increasing speed & including a distinctive "rocky ankles" figure that looks more difficult to do than it really is. The 'Short' in its title is because it is a subsection of a stage choreography with even more parts.

Something that makes this dance a bit difficult to follow that it looks is that several of the stamps & sways look as if one is going to transfer weight actually one does not because the same foot is needed free for the next step.

Health warning: Part C looks very much like the Irish 'River Dance' step of rocking ankles with crossed legs that is notoriously risky of ankle injuries. However it is actually a much easier and less straining move where the support alternates between legs and the supporting leg (whether it be the one crossed over infront or the one behind) is essentially vertical (& with the foot flat on the ground & slight knee bend) with no sideways bend of the ankle or knee and even no sideways inclination of the leg. Hence there is no significant sideways bending force on the ankles (or knees). The bend of the momentarily free leg, the speed of move and the theatrically exaggerated accompaniments (shouting etc.) give the illusion that more stressing (& intricate) stuff is being done with the legs that is really being done.

Style: Low & heavy with slightly bent knees & slight forward lean of upper body. The swaying motions are because the traditional men's dance costume had a tall white conical hat which emphasised it.


Summary: 2 bars.

Wait through 2 bars.

Part A

Summary: (R side, L close) x 2. R side, L close, sway R & L, R side, pause. Mirror. R side, L close, R side, pause. Mirror. Plod R 4 steps.

Start Facing centre. Weight on L foot.
1-2 R to the side swivelling heels to the R and body (particularly the shoulders) a bit to the L.
3-4 L close turning to face centre again.
2 Repeat bar 1 (i.e. sidestep R).
3 Repeat bar 1 (i.e. sidestep R).
Feet Sway onto R in place turning body & looking a bit to the L.
Shout "Hop!".
Feet Sway onto L in place turning body & looking a bit to the R.
Shout "Shar!".
5 Repeat bar 1 (i.e. sidestep R).
1-2 R to the side with a sway as in bar 4 counts 1-2 but without shouting.
3-4 Pause. There is a very slight bounce from the knees as in stepping to keep up timing but there is no weight transfer and no change in turning direction.
7-10 Repeat bars 3-6 but in mirror image with R & L swapped (i.e. sidestep L, sways shouting, sidestep L, sways) but with the shouts being "Hee!" & "Har!".
11-12 Repeat bars 5-6 in mirror image (i.e. sidestep R, sway, pause).
13-14 Repeat bars 9-10 (equivalently bars 5-6 in mirror image) (i.e. sidestep L, sway, pause).
15-16 Turn to face acw round circle and walk forwards four plodding steps R L R L.

The swivelling (particularly the shoulders) was designed to go with belt hold with the body freely turning within the held belt.

The shouts were said to be "Op" & Ee" when he was teaching but when pronounced with emphasis in the dance sounded more like "Hop" & "Hee".

Part B

Summary: R & L diagonal heel Triple Steps in. 2 slow & 4 fast drunken stagger steps out. Ditto x 0.75, jump to feet together, pause, jump to L lifted across infront, pause.

Start Facing centre. Weight on L foot.
1 R triple step (R forward, L close, R forward, R hop) forwards 45 deg to R of centre direction with forward steps being on to R heel.
2 Repeat bar 1 with R & L swapped (i.e. L triple step).
1-2 R step back with slow swing of L leg back ending with the L foot crossed behind the R. Emphasis is on the swing of the L leg not the R step (which is a quick discrete on at the beginning of count 1) and the body leans R. (This was described by Paja as a drunken walk.)
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 with L & R swapped (i.e. drunken step L back with R swinging).
4 Repeat bar 3 twice at double speed (i.e. 4 quick drunken steps).
5-7 Repeat bars 1-3 (i.e. triple steps in, 2 slow drunken steps out).
1 Jump on the spot landing feet together.
2 Pause.
3 Jump on the spot landing R foot raised.
4 Pause.

Part C

Summary: (R across infront, L in place leg rocking) x 3.5, pause, lift L across infront. Mirror. With shouts.

Start Facing centre with R foot raised low over L.
1 Drop flat footed onto R foot close to L of L foot raising L foot slightly off the ground by tilting it to the L. (This looks very much like the Irish dancing ankle rocking step but it is much easier and much less ankle damaging because it is really just a step onto a full foot with no sideways bend of the supporting leg. The R knee remains slightly flexed to get around the L leg but there is no sideways stress on the knee or unusual ankle flexing.)
2 Drop flat footed onto L foot (likewise with the leg not stressed to the side at ankle or knee) in place raising R foot slightly by tilting it R.
3-4 Repeat counts 1 & 2 (crossed leg rocks across & back).
1-2 Repeat counts 1 & 2 (crossed leg rocks across & back).
Feet Repeat count 1 (crossed leg rocks across).
Shout "Hop!"
Feet Lift L foot across infront (ready for it to mirror the rocking steps).
Shout "Shar".
3-4 Repeat bars 1-2 with R & L swapped (i.e. crossed leg rocking the other way) but the shouts are "Hee!" & "Har".

Part D

Summary: (R lift, R side, L close, pause.) x 3. Stamp R & pause, ditto with foot turned out.

Start Facing centre. Weight on L foot.
1 Small hop on L foot (lifting R flatly a cm or so) in place.
2 R to the side (almost flat footed but weight emphasis on heel).
3 L close flat footed.
4 Pause.
2 Repeat bar 1 (i.e. travel sideways).
3 Repeat bar 1 (i.e. travel sideways).
1 Stamp R to slightly forwards flat footed with toe pointing slightly to the left (without weight).
2 Pause.
3 Stamp R to R flat footed with toe pointing 90 deg to the R (without weight).
4 Pause.

Part E

Summary: In place stamp starting R foot 6 single, 3 double, 2 single, 1 double. Ditto but end with step, stamp infront.

Start Facing Centre. Feet together. Weight on L foot.
1-4 16 flat footed stamps on the spot in the pattern of 6 single stamps, 3 double stamps, 2 single stamps & 1 double stamp starting R. (i.e. stamp R, L, R, L, R, L, R without weight, R L without weight, L, R without weight, R, L, R, R without weight, R). The raising of the feet between the stamps is very little (just enough to enable a stamp) because there is little time.
5-8 Repeat bars 1-4 but replace the last 2 stamps with a non-stamping L close & more dramatic final R flat footed stamp slightly infront.

This sequence of stamps might be incorrect. Paja described it as 6 single, 3 double, 2 single, 1 double at one time & mentioned a pause-stamp at the end another time but those if combined (they might have been from alternative versions) end up on the wrong foot so; the smallest change I could make to make it all fit was to assume there was a discrete change of weight (a step in place) in the pause. Paja advised that it actually doesn't much matter which foot each stamp is done with because it is too fast & short to clearly see!