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Dance Heritage Coalition

Key Subjects Table of Contents BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Romainian Folk Dance Collection (Popescu-Judetz, Georghe and Eugenia, collectors)



The Gheorghe and Eugenia Popescu-Judetz Collection spans the years 1938-1974 and 1995, with the largest portion dated 1950-1972. It is arranged into two groups or series. Series I, the bulk of the collection, consists of the documentary materials donated by Eugenia Popescu-Judetz and includes manuscripts, audio recordings, graphic materials, and moving images. Series II consists of material about the collection, primarily generated by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, such as manuscript material, audio recordings, graphic materials, and moving images. It is an open series.

The Popescu-Judetzes were Romanian dancers who worked primarily as choreographers and teachers. Series I contains the accumulation of decades of Gheorghe's notes, research, and choreographic work as well as examples of Eugenia's dance work and research. It includes at least several thousand notated folk dance variants, more than 3,200 audio-recorded melodies, and approximately 4,000 notated dance melodies. The bulk of the recordings resulted from fieldwork Gheorghe and his team conducted to collect Romanian folk dance and music in all regions of the country. Gheorghe and Eugenia used these materials primarily to create choreographic works for their government-sponsored performance ensembles, and also to develop curricula for dance workshops, to publish dance instruction books, to provide methods to teach Romanian character dance, and to record an endangered dance culture. In addition to documenting and providing examples of traditional Romanian folk dance and the work of the CiocÓrlia and Perinitza Ensembles, material in the collection includes theoretical research, ethnographic descriptions, and a unique dance notation system that they developed.

The fieldwork materials are interrelated; however, these relationships are not always readily apparent. That is, for each dance variant notated, there probably exists a music transcription for the accompanying dance tune. There also may be an audio recording of the dance tune or descriptive notes in the field notebooks. Furthermore, the dance is probably described on an index card or found in a list. Although the majority of the dance tunes and dance variants are inventoried, no concordance exists that links them together.

The breadth of materials in this collection demonstrates a progression of scholarly research and performance development, and provides insight into dance research and performance in communist Romania. The manuscript materials range from rough field notes describing folk dance variants in various villages to colored diagrams of choreographic works staged for professional performance. Since the dance notations included progress from early field sketches to publication-ready drawings of fully-notated dances, the development of the dance notation system itself is also documented.

Key Subjects Table of Contents BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH