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Latvian Dances

GUEST,geordiecaller 10 Jul 17 - 07:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jul 17 - 08:00 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jul 17 - 08:12 PM
leeneia 11 Jul 17 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,geordiecaller 11 Jul 17 - 11:19 AM
Jack Campin 11 Jul 17 - 01:47 PM
Mr Red 11 Jul 17 - 05:24 PM
Jack Campin 11 Jul 17 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Geordiecaller 12 Jul 17 - 05:37 AM
Mr Red 13 Jul 17 - 04:59 AM
Jack Campin 13 Jul 17 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,ripov 13 Jul 17 - 04:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jul 17 - 04:50 PM
Richard Mellish 13 Jul 17 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,geordiecaller 13 Jul 17 - 06:54 PM
Richard Mellish 14 Jul 17 - 04:48 AM
Mo the caller 14 Jul 17 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,geordiecaller 14 Jul 17 - 01:26 PM
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Subject: Latvian Dances
From: GUEST,geordiecaller
Date: 10 Jul 17 - 07:37 PM

anyone know where I can find instructions for calling Latvian dances? I'm doing a wedding soon and I'd love to call some authentic dances. It's a long shot, I know, but Mudcatters....


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jul 17 - 08:00 PM

Well, here are instructions for a dance called "Latvian Lass" - it's a Scottish Dance, but maybe it might have been Latvian before it got there.

Here it is anyway


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jul 17 - 08:12 PM

Search for "Oira" or "Oira oira" - lots of versions of it on YouTube. It's a kind of polka with a very simple tune.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 10:50 AM

Google this

Latvian cultural organizations

Somebody might help.

I looked at YouTube, but most of the dances are demanding performances by professionals.

WARNING! THE LINK BELOW IS JUST FOR FUN!

I loved this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcvmSBCJwKE


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: GUEST,geordiecaller
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 11:19 AM

Many thanks.
Hawway the lads!


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 01:47 PM

On googling, I see Oira is also claimed by Lithuanians and Ukrainians. The same is likely to be true of other Latvian dances. Won't matter if there are no other claimant nations present at this do, but Eastern Europeans can get rather aerated about ethnic ownership of tunes and dances.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 05:24 PM

I am sure the Doughboys would help you. In their various namings they claim to be the only Anglo-Latvian ZydeCajun Ceilidh Band in the land world
Indeed when they come to Gloucester for Cajun a la Fontaine we insist on a couple of Latvian dances.
One I remember was reminiscent of Chapelloise a bit more skippy. I don't remember it as a progressive but maybe that was because the room was narrow.
Men on inside, ladies outer, grand circle
sort of skipping forward , followed by the same.
turn a repeat back (facing direction of travel both times)
turn again and balance together, balance apart.
repeat ballance together, balance apart.
repeat all till tired.


The other one was just a polka but a skippy/bouncey one, and man's left arm at his waste, hand covering woman's right in same place. A bit elbow sticky-outy.

Of course the music would inform the feet, as in any good dance (or band).

Daina Auzins on FB and her sister gave a workshop at IVFDF 2017. Maybe she could help.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Jul 17 - 06:10 PM

Could this be useful?

http://www.folkways.si.edu/singers-to-the-core-folk-music-from-latvia/music/tools-for-teaching/smithsonian

It's aimed at kids but you should be able to adapt the approach.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: GUEST,Geordiecaller
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 05:37 AM

Great stuff!
I just love Mudcat!
Thanks again 😊


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 04:59 AM

In the dance I gave there may have been a Ladies crossing in front and another balance in/cross the cross would be after the balance in, same again t in the second balances to return the formation to start the repeat. It is what Chapelloise does and I may be conflating the two.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 07:40 AM

Here's one NOT to try at home:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZnb4XTqZik

Claims that "it's just one of our ancient folkloric symbols" are probably bollocks - Latvia was one of the nations most enthusiastic about collaborating with the Nazis.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 04:24 PM

The swastika was certainly used pre Nazi era. My (admittedly erratic) memory says it was an egyptian symbol of the sun-god. But more recently it was the trade mark of the swedish electrical company ASEA (which became part of ABB), who built this amazing room. Legend has it that this was only saved by the lads 'at the sharp end', ie the electrical technicians on the railway (when maintenance was still in house and the 'railwayman' community was a lot stronger), creating a fuss, otherwise it would have been partially gutted and left to decay, like the other examples, some of which are still in use as store-rooms.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 04:50 PM

One way and another this symbol has a long history - at one time it was used by the Chinese Red Cross at tge start of tge cetury.

The swastika in that dance is actually not the one the Nazis used, it's the mirror image, going clockwise, which in Hinduism symbolises wellbeing, whereas the version the Nazis used supymbolises darkness.

I'm not sure if the Nazis picked that version intentionally for that reason (a lot of people seem to find the idea of picking the Dark Side quite appealing) or whether they got it right by accident.
......................
There were plenty of Latvians who fought against the Nazis. But of course the Russians had only invaded and abolished their country in 1940, so it's not surprising that initially many saw the Germans arriving in 1941 as liberators.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 05:47 PM

There are some Latvian dances in the repertoire of the Society for International Folk Dancing. Our CD10 (available from here, but online ordering not yet possible) includes music for one of them, Jaunais Sturis. I've put a short sample of that here and the dance notation here.

We've recently produced an archive of loads of stuff, including videos from one of our summer schools when several Latvian dances were taught, but I think it's currently only available as a beta release to Society members. I will check on that.

Depending where you're based and how soon you need the dances we may be able to find someone to teach you some of them.

Of course it's also worth seeing what you can find on YouTube such as this and this.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: GUEST,geordiecaller
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 06:54 PM

Many thanks Richard, much appreciated.

Note to others:
Please stick to Latvian dances if you contribute. Leave the history for another thread.
Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 14 Jul 17 - 04:48 AM

Lying in bed last night I realised that I should have included the music notation as well. I've now replaced the pdf: dance notation and dots

I also realised that (given a day or two) I may be able to put you in contact with the chap who taught us the Latvian dances, or a successor in his group. When is the wedding?

If you register here (which is painless) you can PM me.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: Mo the caller
Date: 14 Jul 17 - 08:43 AM

Personally I think that dance and history, like dance and all aspects of life, and interwoven.
And Mudcat does tend to converse rather than have strict discussions with a chairman keeping order.


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Subject: RE: Latvian Dances
From: GUEST,geordiecaller
Date: 14 Jul 17 - 01:26 PM

Mo. If I want history I'll ask for it.
Too many simple requests are taken over by people with various axes to grind, or who want to voice irrelevant opinions.


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