Nigun Atik

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Hebrew: ניגון עתיק (Ancient Melody). Also known as Zemer Atik (Hebrew: זמר עתיק), same translation.

Nigun Atik was originally choreographed (by Rivka Sturman) as a circle-couple dance: The first time through, the dance is done in one big circle, all facing CCW with each woman in front of her partner. After once through the partners join inside hands in a circle of couples for the second time through the music. Following that, the original large circle re-forms, and we continue alternating circle and couple.

However, the dance is often taught just as a circle dance: The first part is repeated throughout, with no switch to couples formation. It has been reportedly taught that way as early as the late 1950s by Fred Berk while in his book "100 Israeli Folk Dances" the steps for both parts are described. It seems that it is also done circle-only in Israel; Rokdim has two videos, one teaching it as circle-couple and one as circle-only. Dropping the couples section makes a dance suitable for first-time beginners and it is likely that many teachers have taken this step independently.

Nigun Atik is dance #1 in the Australian Database.

There is an article about the creation of the dance in Hora newspaper at A Research Project

Nigun Atik at
Video at Rokdim