Romanian dating rituals
The dance suite from Pădureţi, in Argeş is: Plimbarea, Băţul (the stick), Calu (the horse), Crăiţa (the Marigold), Chiserul, Florica, Hora Căluşului and dances with imitative features: Raţa (the duck), Cătrăniţa, Ungurescul, and Băţul. Oltenia and northern Bulgaria: The dance aspect is less developed and maintains a closer association with ritual.
The Căluş of southern Romania, also found with the northern Vlachs of Bulgaria and Serbia, consists of a suite of separate dances, each with its own name, melody and ritual purpose which were danced at Rusalii. The features characteristic to Romanian type group ritual dances are: The figures (mişcare) are combinations of stamps, heel clicks, springs and leg rotations. (1997), Caluşul: antologie de studii, Piteşti: SA Tiparg. Particularly in the Muntenian variants, these are structured with a beginning element, middle element and an ending element, with the middle element most often changing to create different figures. The staged versions have combined these dances, concentrating on the impressive mişcare steps. There are three existing variants of the Romanian Căluş: Muntenia: The dance has a higher stage of evolution and is a major source of the figures used in dance ensemble choreographies. The Muntenian tradition includes the mute character who does not speak, wears a hideous mask and uses obscene actions. The use of Traditional Symbols for Recasting the Present: A Case Study of Tourism in Romania?
In some places ritual plays are also performed during which the the mute character is killed and brought back to life.
There are several distinct dances grouped round a Căluş dance followed by Sârba and Hora.
The oldest documentation is musical notations from Ioan Caianu (Latin: Johannes Caioni Hungarian: Kájoni János; a Transylvanian Franciscan monk and Roman Catholic priest, musician, folklorist of Vlach ancestry) in the 17th century. (1977), Căluş, symbolic transformation in Romanian ritual, Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press. (1988), Wedding of the Dead: Ritual, Poetics, and popular culture in Transylvania, Berkeley: University of California Press.
The translation of Căluş is most often "pony or little horse", which would be Căluţ or Căluşel in Romanian.
Căluşar or Căluşari refers to the dancers of Căluş.
An alternative derivation of Căluş refers to type of stick used to keep the horse's mouth open. Giurchescu, A (1995), Romanian Traditional Dance, Mill Valley CA: Wild Flower Press.