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By Robin Rinaldi

Introduces the historical past, equipment of educating, ceremonial types, uncomplicated steps, and well-known figures of conventional Irish, Polish, and Spanish dance.

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Extra info for European Dance: Ireland, Poland & Spain (World of Dance)

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Thus the commission did a great service to step dance by standardizing it and establishing schools for it worldwide, but at the expense of the loss of other regional styles and the great variety of improvisation and individual expression that was historically found at house and crossroads dances. COMPETITIVE IRISH DANCE Irish dancing has always harbored a competitive spirit. One Gaelic phrase for dancing, babhta rince, translates to “a bout of dance,” as if there were sure to be a winner and a loser.

The front man could lead the procession over chairs, tables, and even through windows, eventually taking them outside. Throughout the dance, the lead male could be replaced as another man came forward to start his own song, thus “cutting in” and taking the lead female’s hand. The chodzony was especially popular at weddings, when every man wanted a chance to take the lead and dance with the bride. In yet another example of how traditional dance evolves between social classes, the chodzony, a simple peasant dance, formed the basis of the polonez, which would later turn up in Poland’s royal court at the marriage of a king.

Dances here often feature one couple leading a group of other couples. • Mazovia and Mazuria are the eastern regions of the country. Their dances show influences from Russia and Ukraine, which they border, and a common pattern is a group of couples whirling around in a circle. Within these five regions, Poland has forty distinct folkloric regions. The diversity of dance customs was nearly endless. The accompanying music was usually in triple meter — like the 1-2-3 of the waltz—although there were exceptions.

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