* Beranches: Basic and Bodacious Balkan

The term "Beranche" refers to a family of dances originally from Slavic-speaking natives of Macedonia (including parts of Greece, North Macedonia, and Pirin, Bulgaria) in asymetrical meters of the form SQQ SQ. The ratios of slows to quicks can vary with the dance, region, or specific performance (322-32, 423-43, etc.) so it's best to just latch onto the SQQ SQ pattern.

You can find dozens of video examples of Pusteno (the first dance I taught on the Virtual Neffa 2020 video), by searching for it under its many names (in many alphabets): Bajrače, Bajrache, Berançe, Berače, Beranče, Bufsko, Boufsko, λυτός, Litos, Lytos, Kucano, Nešo, Pušteno, Pusčeno, Пуштено, πουστσένο, etc. The second dance, Amoliti Gaida, is basically the same footwork, but alternating 3 measures moving to the right (LoD), then 3 measures moving to the left (RLoD). It's good for fitting into the tight spaces in which most of us are confined during this Covid-19 season, but is probably a dance that was mostly done on stage rather than regularly in village settings.

Useful links

* Zwiefache

The dance name means "twice-made", referring to the two parts that make it up: pivots and waltzes. In Bavarian dialect the word for two is pronounced "zvee" whether it's spelled "Zwie" or "Zwei", since standard orthography was never set for this German dialect. Some "correct" the spelling and pronounciation to match high German, so you may see "Zweifacher" or "Zwiefache" in different places.

My sense is that these dances are rarely done in Bavaria anymore, but I'd be happy for this sentence to be an application of Cunningham's Law. Certainly one finds examples of tunes played by Bavarians, but most dancing examples seem to be of non-Germans, typically in the international folkdancing or social dancing traditions. Pat McMonagle tells me that it's traditional in Bavaria to dance them on the spot rather than around the room in line of direction the way most IFD and social dance groups do; this makes them particularly well suited to dancing in small spaces. If you have no partner, it's still possible to dance alone, with a stuffed--or better live-- animal. More heft is better.

Useful tips for dancing Zwiefache:

Useful links

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