Fecioreasca fetelor from Crihalma / Girls’ lad dance from Crihalma village

Fecioreasca fetelor from Crihalma is a unique dance in the country, which has already been performed for over 100 years since the beginning. It is in the repertoire of many professional popular artistic ensembles. It also has a book (recently released), and the inhabitants of the village of Crihalma want this tradition to make its way into the national intangible cultural heritage and even the UNESCO heritage.

Crihalma is a village in Comăna commune located in Brasov County, where almost 700 people still live, keepers of local traditions.

The Fecioreasca dance for girls from Crihalma has been played for more than 100 years. From all the sources collected in the village we know that it was born around the First World War, before 1916 – there are no exact dates, but we know that it has been played since then. In that period, 195 men from the village of Crihalma were taken to the army and the village remained populated only by women and children. Winter soon came, and the tradition of the villages was that in the winter the women and the young girls would gather in the sheds, to fill their time with various activities, such as sewing, weaving, cooking or gossiping. Being the first winter without men in the village with the women gathered at the clubs and sitting, they thought and began to reproduce the lads dance of the men. Carrying, beating and jumping, all are figures inspired by the men’s game from the Tarnavelor Valley, taken over and adapted by women.

This is how the dance that today we call Fecioreasca fetelor was born. They have their feminine figures and today the authentic game Fecioreasca is played for girls from Crihalma.

The authors of the book “Fecioreasca fetelor din Crihalma” Vasile Stoia and Viorel Nistor are the ones who managed to collect the information, cries and old photos from the original village of the game. They included in the volume not only the description of the dance structure, such as rhythm changes, kinetic changes, steps, beats, the way the feet land, but also the choreographic scores themselves.

The authors claim that, starting from the authentic game of Crihalma, the dance has undergone significant changes over time, especially when it is staged by ensembles from the country and not by locals.

All over the country, Crihalma is especially known as the Fecioareasca Fetelor dance, specific to the locality, which is currently in the repertoire of many professional artistic groups. But the popular game is played from generation to generation by amateurs, none other than the villagers of Crihalma.