Zakariya

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Hebrew: זכרייה

Circle dance by Moshiko HaLevy, who also composed the music.

The name is that of a former Palestinian village near Jerusalem (Arabic: زكرية) named for the old-testament prophet Zacharia.

Zakaria is a called dance in which the line leader decides, at each point, which of the dance's three figures the line should dance next. There can be any number of lines, each with its own leader. In some venues the figures are called "one", "two", and "three", and this terminology is used below. More correctly, however, the first figure is signalled simply with a circling of the hand, and the other figures are called "one" and "two".

The first figure of the dance consists simply of sixteen walking steps, and the third consists of an eight-beat phrase repeated twice. Therefore, these two figures can be split, that is, danced only halfway through before changing figures. When this is done the figures of the dance do not line up with the repetitions of the music, whose phrases are sixteen beats each.

A capable leader ends the dance halfway through figure two, with dancers' arms and right feet thrust forward. To accomplish this, of course, at least one of the repetitions of the music must be split. This can be done inartistically by calling figure one at the start of the last musical phrase, then calling figure two eight beats later. With experienced dancers it's more fun to split figures much more frequently.

The dance plays through twenty times, with drum solos at repetitions twelve and fourteen. The leader can therefore call randomly until the second drum solo and only then plan a six-figure ending.

Zakariya at israelidances.com