Today, Norwegian dances are customarily divided into the categories described below. These are the oldest known and documented dances, coming to Norway in the period to Each type is widely danced and known over a large area, although it varies considerably from district to district.
The dances also vary from individual to individual in the same district. This creates a complex geographical pattern with gradual transitions in tradition from one region to the next. The dances are quite free in structure, so that many dancers vary them from one execution to the next.
There is, nevertheless, a fixed framework within which improvisation occurs. Some Norwegian dancers feel that bygdedans from more then one region should not be attempted because the styles and improvisations tend to blend, losing the unique regional styling. Springar and Gangar are not, in principle, different, except for the meter.
Springar and Gangar are found in the south and west. They often have three parts, in this order: Vending turning or curving, rich in motifs and variations , Lausdans solo, not attached to a partner , and Samdans some sort of rotation with a partner. Pols is found in the north and east. It is difficult to say much about its structure in general, except that it usually has elements of the same three parts as the Springar, but not necessarily in the order given above. It generally has fewer Vending motifs and very little Lausdans; the Samdans is very important.
Just before , almost every community had either Springar or Pols, but no community had both. Halling is a solo men's dance known primarily as a competition and performing number. It has no fixed form. Two main types or motifs are used: sporting and acrobatic motifs, and turns and steps found in other bygdedans forms. Rull is quite simple in form and is probably the newest of the bygdedans types, dating from at the earliest. It is found only in a relatively small area and varies little from place to place.
Today, musical accompaniment is nearly always a solo instrument, usually ordinary fiddle or Hardanger fiddle, depending on the region. There are many melodies for each regional dance. Fiddlers often pursue music only from their own regions; for example, a fiddler from Telemark plays Springar and Gangar tunes from Telemark only. Bygdedans is still a living tradition in some parts of Norway. In some places, versions of the dances suitable for the teaching environment have emerged.
Gammeldans has its roots in German and Austrian couple dances. The dances became popular in the courts at the end of the s, were introduced in ballrooms in Paris in the early s, and spread from there throughout Europe. They became very popular in Norway and were the social dance of the s. These dances go under different names in different communities, that is Polka may be called Hamborgar, Galopp, Skotsk, Hoppvals, Polkett, or Tripper.
In a few places, the dance names may even be exchanged such as calling a Polka "Reinlander" , creating a very confusing situation. Many of the dances are found in every region in Norway. In many places, they were the only dances danced after dances of the bygdedans type had been forgotten. The dances vary little from place to place and the essential characteristics are the same both within Norway and in large portions of the western world. Turning together with a partner is typical; gammeldans is basically a collection dances based on a single turning technique face-to-face with the right foot between partner's feet.
The dances normally have a simple pattern that may be embellished or varied, but the scope of variations is usually quite limited. Gammeldans may be done to any tune of the appropriate type. Today, musical accompaniment is most often a modern orchestra, including instruments such as fiddle, accordion, guitar, and bass perhaps electric.
At the beginning of this century, gammeldans was extensively done extensively in traditional settings. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email.
Share this: Tweet. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Examples are Valdresspringar, Hallingspringar, Vossaspringar, and Setesdalgangar.
Telespringar: This particular springar from the Telemark region of Norway is an improvised dance done on one spot. The dance has its own characteristic svikt and is done to music with three uneven beats. The figures are unique to this dance and are characterized by flowing turning of the couple both clockwise and counterclockwise, often described as imitating the floral curlicue patterns of the traditional, painted rosemaling designs. Changes in turning speed, couple hold and variations in the men's steps add endless variety and excitement to this favorite dance.
A similar dance, Telegangar is done to slower music with an even beat. Rull or rudl in western Norway is usually done to music with 2 beats per measure, of which Vossarull is an example.
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