2 3 Throwback Thursday Bear Dance | Ballet Webb

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Throwback Thursday Bear Dance

Throwback Thursday Bear Dance

Every year, between Christmas and New Year’s a group of “dancing bears” wearing giant red tassels appear, moving through the snowy streets of Romania. I am not making this up.

The tradition of the dancing bears has only recently become known outside the borders of Romania, due to photographs taken by New York-based photographer Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi. She lived in Romania as a child and has fond memories of the annual event.

People dressed in bear costumes parade through the streets, often accompanied by a singing “bear tamer” and drummers. All of this is designed to scare away evil spirits and ensure a good new year. But where did this odd custom originate? According to Alhindrawi, it started years ago when gypsies came into town and brought real bears with them. Town residents paid the gypsies to allow bear cubs to walk up and down the backs of anyone suffering with backaches.

I guess the bear cub treatment worked and a tradition was born!

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #195:
“The Bear Dance of Romania is performed to drive away evil spirits.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Always respect Mother Nature. Especially when she weighs 400 pounds and is guarding her baby.”
James Rollins, Ice Hunt

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