Dancing at the Krakow festival

Dancing at the Krakow festival


Dance leaders in Sweden

Heléne Don Lind

+46 076–884 57 82

Mea Nordenfelt

+46 (0)73–330 59 21

Natalia Wrighed

+46 (0)76–869 67 24

Café klezmer

Dance to klezmermusic

Klezmer music is dance music! It started out as utilitarian music on weddings and other parties and celebrations.
In the 70's at time of the klezmer revival, the dance had almost disappeared (read article by Helen Winkler below). The interest in the dance has, unfortunately, not been as great as the interest in the music. Very little research has been done but the interest is growing, more people are studying and today there are workshops in jiddish dance at several festivals around the world. On this page you will find brief descriptions of the most common dances.

Why did the dance disappear?

by Helen Winkler

You may ask, why did this dance form almost disappear from the Jewish community. To be honest, it did not actually disappear. Chasidic Jews continue to do their own version of traditional dances (but even their dances are changing e.g. women's simkhe dances). However, for the rest of us I think it's safe to say that the dances did virtually disappear (except for a modern rendition of the freylekhs).The most tragic reason for this is the holocaust; the communities where the danceswere done were destroyed as were the people. Those that were left assimilated intomodern society. The state of Israel was created, drawing attention to a new and vibrant Israeli folk dance culture.

The decline of klezmer music and dance in America is explored in an article by Walter Feldman. He points out that klezmer music was marginalized by the Jewish community and was never supported by Jewish institutions such as schools and synagogues. Without this support the music could not survive very long in the transplanted Jewish community. Because more secular values were adopted by American Jews, the community also actually chose to discard traditional dances that had previously been associated with orthodox Jewish weddings.

However, we now have the klezmer revival. Who can sit still when listening to this fantastic music? You have to dance. There is a beautiful simplicity to traditional dances like the freylekhs, that welcomes everyone to join in, regardless of age, virtuosity or experience. It's time to bring these dances back into our lives, to celebrate together, to enjoy. It is a testament to the resilience of the Jewish people that we are still here, and we are still dancing.

How do you dance?

Translation pending