Meaning “The Easy or the Simple one” when literally translated is a dance style known as Lesnoto belonging to southeast Europe. This “folk” dance is said to have originated from Macedonia, and is also popular in Balkan countries such as Bulgaria. Furthermore, this dance is basically performed to a rhythm that comprises of 3 slow and 4 quick beats. In addition, it is a social form of dancing and is performed mainly during parties and also in “mehanas” i.e. cafes.

a. History/origin of the Lesnoto:

The word “Lesnoto” (which means light or easy) was apparently first coined by Yugoslavian dance collectors Ljuba and Danica Jankovic. Furthermore, it was in the year 1939 that this word was used generally for the first time for dances comprising of the “3 steps right and 1 step left” feet movements. It was then in the 1940’s and 50’s that this term as well as this style of dancing became popular among many dance choreographers around the world, and therefore was used frequently by them.

b. Costumes used in the Lesnoto:

There is no particular costume worn in this dance style since it is mainly performed during parties and in cafes.

c. Music involved in the Lesnoto:

The musical instrument mainly used in this dance style includes the gaida i.e. bagpipes, kaval i.e. reed pipe, gadulka i.e. fiddle, tambura i.e. lute, tupan i.e. cylindrical drum, and tarabuka i.e. a finger drum.

d. Training availability and technique involved in the Lesnoto:

In terms of technique, the performers initially arrange themselves around an open circle and hold hands. Furthermore, the performers i.e. male and female then perform to a three measure pattern. The pattern is as follows:

  1. Measure 1: Comprises of (slow beat) step right sideways on the right foot. (quick beat) step in front of right on left foot (quick beat) pause.
  2. Measure 2: Comprises of (slow beat) step right sideways on right foot. (quick beat) touch left foot in front of right or raise left leg in front of right. (quick beat) pause.
  3. Measure 3: Comprises of (slow beat) step left sideways on left foot. (quick beat) touch right foot in front of left or raise right leg, bending knee, in front of left. (quick beat) pause.

In addition, while the feet movements used by the male performers are highly “exaggerated and powerful”, the movements used by the female performers are more “feminine and smaller”. As for training schools/centers, there are none available around the world since this “folk” dance is mainly performed in the Balkan region.

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