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Pasarelska lesa

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Information: A dance.

Pasarelska lesa gets its name from the village Pasarel, Samokovo region, where it has been danced for many years. It is done mixed, with men and women, arranged next to each other with hands on men's belts and women's waistbands. It is danced in an open or closed circle or snakes around to the accompaniment of folk instrumental music.

The dance steps are neither numerous, varied, nor difficult. The whole dance is divided into two parts each of which consists of two groups.

The first part consists of two double steps during which the line moves to the right, and three triple steps which are done in one place.

The second part is made up of three individual steps, which are done in place and are repeated, and of three steps, which are also done in place.

Characteristic of this dance are the two double steps which are done at the beginning – at the start of the dance. Thanks only to these two double steps, the whole dance moves to the right. All the rest of the steps to the end are done in place. That is to say these steps begin to take on an almost static appearance and to be called "in place."

When doing each separate step, the body rocks slightly and this gives the general appearance of the whole dance. Both the rhythm and the meter in which the dance is done are important. It is danced in 7/16 = (3+2+2)/16 meter, which is associated with many variants of folk dances. They are found in the Šop region and most often in the Sofia area under the name Četvorno Šopsko. Here it is danced with great mastery and in combination with a very large number of diverse steps.

The steps of this variant, Pasarelska lesa, are done to the right and in place, and the whole dance moves to the right. It has 28 steps, of which two double, six triple, and six individual, are done in quick tempo in 7/16 = (3+2+2)/16 meter and complete in ten measures of melody – not covered by it.

Translation: Dance from Pasarel, the area around one or both of the villages of Dolni Pasarel and the nearby but now-submerged Gorni Pasarel, southeast of Sofia, near Samokov. Iskûr Reservoir now covers Gorni Pasarel and Šišmanovo. Although closer to Gabra on the Sofia-Ihtiman highway, Dolni Pasarel lies on the Sofia-Samokov highway and residents identify more with Samokov.

Pronunciation: pa-sa-REHL-ska LEH-sa

Location: Bulgaria

Source: Boris Tsonev. Izbrani Bulgarski Narodni Hora (Selected Bulgarian Folk Dances), vol. III. Sofia: Meditsina I Fizkultura, 1957. (Music not Macedonian Horo, on Bruno 50163, This is Bulgaria.)

Region: Possible regions of origin in Rhodope ethnographic region (from the dance instructions) of Bulgaria.



Yves Moreau and Camille Brochu, Maine Folk Dance Camp 1969. Boris Tsonev in Bulgraska Narodna Hora, Vol. 2, Sofia 1956.

5) Step R (S) Step L (q) Lift R (q)
6) Step R (q) Step L (q) Lift R (q)
7) Step R (S) Stamp L (q) Hold (q)

Bev Wilder per Yves Moreau at University of Chicago on March 7, 1969.

5) 1: Step fwd R. 2: Step fwd L. 3: Hop on L, raising R ft and leg (M lift leg until thigh is nearly parallel with floor – W somewhat lower).
6) 1-3 Repeat 5)
7) 1: Leap fwd on R, turning body to R (LOD). 2,3: Stamp L next to R and hold. Bend body over and watch ft.

Neal Sandler notes, 1964, Balkan Co-op (Los Angeles) per Maggie (Martinez) Spear, Kitka ensemble, Los Angeles and Jim Schlesinger. This version moves to center during bars 5-6:

5) Step R (S), Step L (qq)
6) Lift R (S), Step R (q), Step L (q)
7) Lift R (S), Step R (q), Stamp L (q)

Kathleen Logsdon (also known as Kat Kincaid) per Jim Schlessinger = Tsonev:

5) Step R (S), Step L (q), Step R without taking weight (small stamp?) (q)
6) Wt on L, lifting R (S), Step R (q), L (q),
7) Wt on L, lifting R (S, Step R (q), Stamp L (q)


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