Information: A dance.
Historically, this dance form may have come with major migrations from Thrace to Dobrudža, especially in the 18th century.
Source: Yves Moreau, Marty Koenig, and Jaap Leegwater all have taught dances from this family. I learned one from the Gabrovo Ensemble in 1993. Marty learned this dance in the village of Srebarna, in the Dobrudja region. The Madison folkdance community learned it from Marty Koenig in the early 1970s and has been doing it continuously ever since. This description is based on a syllabus from Marty and on Madison tradition.
Location: The Opas is a genre of men's dance found in the Dobrudža (Danube delta) region of Bulgaria and may be considered their version of the Pravo.
Music: BAEU-1 "Bulgarian Folk Songs and Dances."
Formation: Line; dancers in belt hold with left arm over, right under. The name describes the hold used: "za opas" (by the belt) in the local dialect. In standard Bulgarian this expression is "za pojas."
Style: The body style, which is based strongly on the earth and done very much into the ground, depends on the flexed-knee posture characteristic of Dobrudžan men's dances. Beginning with gentle rocking ("zaspi" = "go to sleep") in Fig I, the dance develops increasing force and energy, complementing forceful footwork with head and shoulder movements.
Steps: Čukče: "hammer" (raise and lower heel).
Note: Execute the figures in the order presented here. The leader (right-most dancer) calls for the next step at his discretion. For Fig V and VI the leader can just call "Novo" (new). These two figures are optional: to omit them, just call "Pravo" (straight or direct) after doing some of Fig IV. Beginning with gentle rocking ("zaspi" = "go to sleep") in the first figure, the dance develops increasing force and energy, complementing forceful footwork with head and shoulder movements.
Presented by: Michael Kuharski, Door County Folk Festival 1996.