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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Beraçe
By Ron Houston

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BACKGROUND

Information: A family of dances.

Translation: From the city of Berat Albania

Pronunciation: beh-RHA-cheh

Other names:

Beranche, Bairatse (the Greek pronunciation for Berançe).
Beratis, Beratiko (could also refer to other dances). Beratis = from Epiros, described in q-S-S by Rickey Holden and Wouter Swets.
Pušteno = a Slavic name, not to be confused with Pushteno dances in northern Albania.
Levendiko = a Greek name.
Gerondikos / Gerontikos = Old men's dance (in Greek, from Florina), similar to Levendiko.
Starkoto = Old men's dance (Slavic).

Region: On the Balkan Peninsula: Tosk regions of south and west Albania, west Aegean and Bitola, Macedonian, Lerin/Florina, northern Greece. The dance seems to have originated in the Kostur/Kastoria region of Macedonia.

Rhythm: Five beats thus: long-short-short-long-short. First and third (long) beats usually subdivided into 4 equal or unequal counts, resulting in 4 against 3 when played in 12 or 13. Third beat is commonly lengthened, but not as long as the first and shortened as tempo increases. Fifth beat is commonly shortened:
     12/8: 3+2+2+3+2 – most common
     13/8: 3+2+3+3+2 – most common
     14/8: 4+2+3+3+2
     11/8: 3+2+2+3+1
     11/8: 3+2+2+2+2


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