KOPANITSA- BULGARIA

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KOPANITSA DANCE, BULGARIA

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“Little digging dance” is the literal translation of Kopanitsa, a dance style belonging to Southeast Europe. This “folk” dance has originated from western Bulgaria, and is also referred to as “Gankino” in many regions in the country. Apparently, the movement used by the performers in this dance style is measured in terms of “quick” and “slow” beats. Furthermore, in this form of dancing the performers arrange themselves in a curved line while holding hands with arms pointing downwards.

a. History/origin of the Kopanitsa:

Unfortunately, very little is known about the history/origin of this folk dance which is extremely popular in Western Bulgaria.

b. Costumes used in the Kopanista:

The costumes used in this dance style vary according to the gender as follows:

1. For males:

The attire worn includes a white full sleeve shirt, a green overcoat, a black trouser, and a pair of black shoes.

2. For females:

The attire worn includes a green top, a long colourful skirt, a pair of stockings, a pair of black shoes, a necklace, and an elaborate red colour headdress.

c. Music involved in the Kopanista:

The musical instruments mainly used in this dance style includes a gadoulka i.e. a stringed instrument, kaval, gaida, duduk, dvoyanka i.e. wind instruments, and tapan, tarambouka i.e. percussion instruments.

d. Training availability and technique involved in the Kopanista:

In terms of technique, the steps involved in this dance comprise of three measures, and they are as follows:

  1. Measure one: Consists of (quick) step on the right foot. (quick) step behind right on the left foot. (slow) step right on the right foot. (quick) step left in front of the right on the left foot. (quick) pause.
  2. Measure two: Consists of (quick) step right on the right foot. (quick) step behind right on left foot. (slow) step right on right foot. (quick) close left foot next to right. (quick) pause.
  3. Measure three: Consist of (quick) step left on left foot. (quick) step behind left on right foot. (slow) step right on right foot. (close) close right foot next to left.

In addition, the musicians many a time tend to increase the rhythm of the music to challenge the dancer. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world since this “folk” dance is mainly performed in western Bulgaria.

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