Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 168 - 13 International Folk Dances For Male Dancers

I'm enjoying a week off from work - which is doing double duty as a writing week, as I tackle revisions on my Welsh Dark Ages vampire story.

But I'm finding time to rest and renew, as well. And one of the ways I've done this is by taking an impromptu around-the-world tour, via You Tube, to watch this awesome display of male folk dancing.

1 - Sword Dance - Scotland

I love how this warrior dance says I'll be dancing on your grave.

2 - Playful Competition (Kiev Fellows) - Ukraine

Here is the classic male bonding scenario: rivals first, then see what each is made of, then respect and friendship.

3 - Flamenco - Spain

The passion! The arrogance! The self-containment! Chick Magnet City.

As in all male dances, the aim is to display strength moves, agility and speed. Here with flamenco, the dancer adds balance and timing, which in a bull-fighting culture, is highly-valued.

4 - Haka - New Zealand

This group posturing dance has been given an upgrade from traditional Maori culture to contemporary New Zealand rugby matches. Here the opposing team gathers on the field as the All Blacks team informs them of what they can expect during the game.

Apparently the performance of this dance - which has been done since 1884 - works.

The All Blacks are "the leading points scorers of all time. They have the highest win ratio, and more than half of the top 20 ranked rugby nations have never beaten New Zealand in over 100 years of international competition." - Wikipedia

5 - Gule Wamkulu (Great Dance) - Mozambique

These dancers hide their true identities from all but their village chiefs. It is their continued ceremonial role to drive away evil spirits from the village, today as yesterday. As in the animal kingdom, these dancers use increased body size through costumes and broad movements to intimidate their foes.

6 - Fire Dance - Polynesia

The addition of fire to the traditional pre-battle knife dance is relatively modern - since the late 1940's.

What began as a posturing war dance transformed into a display of man's mastery over the planet's destructive elements.

CLICK HERE to see clip of fire dancer

7 - Bhangra - Punjab

This group dance is celebratory and uses bold color in the costuming. The men showcase their physical endurance through repetitive jumping movement throughout a long and complex routine. Harmonious group dynamics replace the more common male competitive element.

8 - Dabke - The Arab World

Another celebratory dance, this is done with the dancers connected to one another arm-to-shoulder, with a dance leader in the center. The solidarity and sense of community is showcased by complicated movements that can only be done with the literal support of other dancers.

9 - Men's Northern Traditional - North American First Nations

This is actually a single dancer's war dance or tale of hunting prowess. The dancers here are competing. The inclusion of animal movements honors the animal brothers whose fur and feathers are included on the dancer's regalia.

10 - Danza de Las Tijeras (Scissors Dance) - Peru

These scissor dancers perform acrobatic stunts and tests of physical endurance, all while maintaining the cutting action of the scissors in one hand. Not included in this dance segment are the trials such as piercing the body and walking on fire. In the tradition of their Incan ancestors, these men of the Andes Mountains perform this dance as a sacred ritual where the limits of the physical world are pushed past the brink by the dancers.

11 - Kritikos - Greece

This male-centered dance incorporates the female symbolism of the circle, uniting the two genders. It was originally performed by the King of Crete upon his marriage to the Mother Goddess's representative, the Queen.

12 - Traditional Edo Period Sword Dance - Japan

This is a stylized representation of the battle movements of a samurai. It even includes the ever-practical wiping-the-blood-from-the-sword movements.

13 - Schuhplattler (Shoe Slapping) - Germany

This hilarious version of the traditional Bavarian slap dance takes the male competitive urge and ramps it up a notch.

Janet says WOW - thanks for this, Julia. What an array of dancing culture - loved it.

I beati says I could watch these all day I get so educated on this meme.

Adelle Laudan says Very kewl. I just finished researching several Native American dances. Great list. Happy T13!


Janet said...

WOW - thanks for this, Julia. What an array of dancing culture - loved it.

BTW - as a Highland Dancer (back in the day), I've done the Sword Dance. One of my favorites of the Highland Dances. The other male dance is the Seann Triubhas (pronounced Sean Trews) where the Scots are kicking off their trousers after being banned from wearing their kilt after the rebellion of 1745!

Julia Smith said...

Janet - we should do the Fling together! I also took Highland Dancing and did the Sword Dance, as well - but I wasn't capable of those high scissor kicks that these men did.

i beati said...

I could watch these all day I get so educated on this meme Sandy

Brenda ND said...

You have the most interesting posts. I had fun watching the dancing. Thanks.

Alice Audrey said...

Interesting musical choice for the samurai dancer. Men in kilts dancing? Yeah!

I am Harriet said...

Wow- what an interesting take on celebratory dancing!

Have a great Thursday!

Naquillity said...

love that you shared so many different cultural dances with us. these were great. hope all is well.

Akelamalu said...

When I was a little girl we used to have weekly dancing classes at school when we learned Scottish country dancing - I loved it!

It's great to see the different national dances - thanks for rooting out the clips Julia. :)

Adelle Laudan said...

Very kewl. I just finished researching several Native American dances. Great list. Happy T13!

Mama Zen said...

How interesting!

Shelley Munro said...

What a great idea for a TT. I enjoyed the virtual tour. Go the mighty All Blacks *grin* We're in the middle of the rugby season at present and we've just beaten South Africa twice. Yay!

Oh, and I can do the haka. ;)

jillconyers said...

Fabulous T13. Cool videos and great legs in #4 :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

It's funny. Ask a high school guy and he'll tell you dancing's for girls. Or wussies. Yet show him one of these and he'll eat those words.

Kah Woei said...

Interesting list. Thanks for sharing.

Mine's here.

Travis Cody said...

I sampled several of the videos. I'll come back and watch more thoroughly when I have time over the weekend.

Thanks for sharing these!

sheila said...

Geez, so many really wonderful ones! Polynesia, Mozambique, Native American! Nice post!