Dror Yikra

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Dror Yikra (Hebrew: דרור יקרא) is a poem by Dunash HaLevi ben Labrat, poet and grammarian of tenth-century Spain. (In the first three verses and the final verse, the initial letters of the lines spell out "Dunash".) The poem has become a piyyut traditionally sung on shabbat to any number of melodies, including The Sloop John B and The Cups Song. One melody transitions smoothly into the Ballad of Gilligan's Island.

Of course, Israeli dances have been choreographed to many of these musical settings:

  • The most common, known as Dror Yikra, is a beginners' dance choreographed by Eliyahu Gamliel in 1970.
  • In the same year, Moshe Eskayo created a more difficult dance for the same melody, played much faster. This dance is usually known as "Dror Yikra (fast)" to distinguish it from Gamliel's dance.
  • The dance called Debka Dror (1987, David Alfassi) is done to a melody from India, with words from the piyyut.
  • The music to Yankele Levy's dance Shabbat Re'im (1982) also uses the lyrics from Dror Yikra, set to a completely different tune.
  • Moshiko (like Dunash, a HaLevi) choreographed a partner mixer called Dror Yikra, to a different melody. The recording is instrumental and the words of the poem don't actually appear.

Links

Variants of Dror Yikra at israelidances.com

Gamliel's dance at Rokdim

Debka Dror at Rokdim