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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Bona Habanot

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BACKGROUND

Information: A dance and song.

Ze'ev Chavatzelet, one of Israel's early, great choreographers, choreographed only seven or eight dances before his tragic drowning under an overturned tractor. His Bona Habanot, to music by Uri Givon and lyrics by Y. Bracha, was introduced to the United States in 1955. This is Ze'ev's version. Another common one uses silly hand positions and this sequence: starting onto inside ft: forward, forward, forward, forward-back; sway, sway, Yemenite. Twice. Back to back, Yemenite, Yemenite, Yemenite. Twice.

Translation: Come here maidens

Pronunciation: BOH-nah hah-bah-NOHT

Region: Israel

Meter: 4/4

Formation: Circle of couples, woman to partner's R, all facing CCW. Inside hands joined and held down. Steps described for man, woman uses opposite footwork (mirror image).

Steps:

Yemenite L Forward: Step in front of R ft onto L ft (ct 1), step in place onto R ft (ct 2), step beside R ft onto L ft (ct 3).
Yemenite R: Step back toward partner onto R ft (ct 1), step in place onto L ft (ct 2), step forward onto R ft (ct 3).

Document: Folk Dance Problem Solver (1987), Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH), San Antonio, TX. Bona Habanot.


BARS ACTION

  Introduction.
1-4 No action.
 
1.   Forward and Yemenite.
1 Step forward onto L ft (ct 1), slightly flex L knee (ct 2), step forward onto R ft (ct 3), slightly flex R knee (ct 4).
2 Yemenite L forward. You may touch hands tenderly (man's L to woman's R) on ct 1.
3 Step forward onto R ft (ct 1), slightly flex R knee (ct 2), step forward onto L ft (ct 3), slightly flex L knee (ct 4).
4 Dance a Yemenite R.
5-8 = 1-4.
 
2.   Sway and Yemenite. Face partner and join both hands at shoulder height out to sides.
1 Step to L onto L ft, leaving R ft in place (ct 1), slightly flex L knee (ct 2), shift weight to R ft, leaving L ft in place (ct 3), slightly flex R knee (ct 4).
2 Yemenite L. Drop downstream hands (man's R, woman's L) and circle joined upstream hands CCW (relative to man). Rejoin hands.
3-4 = 1-2 with opposite footwork and handwork.
5-8 = 1-4.
 
  Repeat dance twice from the beginning. End with inside feet forward, outside feet back, hands at head height, inside hands still joined, and gazing longingly at partner.

LYRICS

Bona, bona habanot. Maherna leesh'ov mayeem
bameesh'ol bein hag'vaot. Cheesh redna el ha-ayeen.
Et kadeichen malena terem bo arbayeem.
Shemesh paz shok'a, not'a l'fa-atei shamayeem.
      Come here, come here maidens. Hurry to draw water
on the path between the hills. Swiftly descend to the spring.
Fill up your jugs before twilight falls.
A golden sun is setting, descending at the edge of the sky.

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