Unusual Sequences

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Dances are usually broken down into components which we call a numbered part (1, 2, 3 etc.), "chorus", or "transition". Once we have described all the components of a dance we then have to specify the sequence in which these components are performed. The combination of the components of a dance and their sequence make up the dance as a whole. In some cases the sequence of the dance components is unusual in some way or another.

An element of the sequence of a dance is the repetition of components. The immediate repetition of a component is not that interesting. What is more interesting is the repetition of sub-sequences. For example a simple dance might consist of 3 parts and the sequence might be 1,1,2,3,1,2,3. In this case we would say that the dance consists of 3 parts, done with two repetitions. In the first repetition of the dance, part 1 is done twice, and in the second repetition part 1 is done only once. This particular sequence is fairly common, and so would not be considered unusual. We refer to the immediate repetition of a part as a local repetition, and the other kind as global repetition.

This page looks at dances whose component sequence is unusual in some way. Since there is no definition of what is unusual, there is a large degree of subjectivity to this.

1. No Repetition

An interesting sequence is a dance that never repeats itself. Some of the components may repeat immediately (local repetition) but there is no global repetition at all.

Dance Name Choreographer Year
Machol Gruzini Moshiko Halevi 1991
Shvatim Michael Barzelai 2019
Tarbouka (Darbouka) Shmulik Gov-Ari 1995

2. Variations on chorus, part1, chorus, part2, chorus, part3, chorus, part1, part2, part3

Two dances of this type were introduced in 1994, then after a gap of over twenty years, more dances of this type have been created. It would be most welcome if someone could suggest a proper name for this type of sequence.

Dance Name Choreographer Year
Adir Adirim Gadi Bitton 2018
Chad Gadya Tamir Shalev 2016
Debka Keff Moshe Eskayo 1994
Pikchi Einayich Shmulik Gov Ari 1994
Rikud Leili Ohad Atia 2015
Shir Hamayim Gadi Bitton 2015

3. Called Dances

The sequence is not set. A called dance is one where a leader controls the dance by signaling the upcoming steps.

See called dance for the five dances listed there.

4. Miscellaneous

Dance Name Choreographer Year
Debka Eilon Ilan Swisa 2013

Debka Eilon repeats 4 times, but each repetition changes in some way from the previous.

Dance Name Choreographer Year
Noam Hatzlilim Ofer Tzofi 2017

Noam Hatzlilim has four short transitions, and one long one. Often a choreographer edits the music of a dance in order to accommodate their choreography. Typically this editing is done to remove extraneous notes that simply don't fit or would require transitions. In this dance it does not appear that the choreographer did any editing of the music, with the result that four short transitions are required in addition to a long one. It is somewhat challenging to remember the order of the transitions, but the effect is actually esthetically pleasing in that the music flows nicely and the short transitions match the music very well.

Dance Name Choreographer Year
Smadar Moshiko Halevy 1977

The first part is done three times, the second four times, and the third once. The same sequence repeats until the end of the music.

Dance Name Choreographer Year
Dror Yikra Eliyahu Gamliel 1970

Whether there are repeats depends on the recording, and there are several popular versions. The dance was choreographed and usually done as 1,transition,1,transition,2,2. Some are 1,1,2,2 without the transition. Others are 1,2,1,2.

Dance Name Choreographer Year
Ansi Dize La Novia Mitch Ginsburgh 2013
Echad Gadi Bitton 2004
Ein Makom Acher Gadi Bitton 2010
Yakalelo Eyal Eliyahu 1999

These dances have additional parts added each time through the music, so each repetition is longer than the previous one. Such a dance (or poem, etc.) is called rhopalic from the Greek ρόπαλο meaning club, a weapon that gets longer from one end to the other.