CollectionAR.00015.2 MOIFA Curators: Richard Bowen Stark Series
Music for the dance La Varsovianna by Jose Luz Lopez (with Mansi Kern on guitar). Excerpt from a recording of dance music made in Peñasco, New Mexico on October 12, 1966. Recorded by Mansi Kern.
Kern describes the dance as follows: "The Varsouvianna originated in Warsaw, Poland. It is one of the most graceful popular dances ever created. It is related to the Polish Mazourka, a national dance. There are a great variety of positions and styles used in this dance. Some of the most interesting come from Old Mexico. Originally, in the Western United States, it was danced with Waltz music, alternating with the standard step. At the Spanish-Colonial dances in New Mexico, this
dance is done in a simple form with an added flavor - the circling first to the right, and then to the left, during the first part.
"LA VARSOUVIANNA A couple dance position. The man stands behind his partner to her left side. He holds her left hand in his left at shoulder height. Reaching over her shoulder, he holds her raised right hand lightly in his right. Both men and women begin with the left foot and keep in step throughout the dance. During the first half of the A part of the dance, the New Mexican
dancers circle, first clockwise, then counter-clockwise on the second half. Then repeat, circling again in the same direction as before. On the B part, circling is often continued in the same manner. This is the unique feature of the Spanish-Colonial version as performed today in Northern New Mexico.
The music for Varsouvianna has become popular throughout the United States. The Spanish version is brighter and a more elaborate improvisation of the standard melody."
September 25 1966 Recording date
2018 Date modified