The members of Kevara have up to 30 years experience playing for dances from many backgrounds, including Celtic, European, Asian and American. In Kevara, this experience is brought together in dances from the European continent, from Russia to Turkey, from Poland to Romania, with a focus on the Jewish tradition. Pam Hayes, our caller, has many years experience calling a wide variety of dances. She can call dances for all levels of difficulty, from complete beginners to more advanced, and we also play tunes that are suitable for freeform dancing.
At the beginning of the 20th century, klezmorim (musicians) played tunes that related to Jewish life, including tunes that were used throughout a marriage ceremony and celebration. They also played tunes for dances that reflected popular taste of those around them, Jewish and non-Jewish. The tunes and dances were flavoured with influences from many places, including Moldavia, Romania, Ukraine and Turkey. This produced a dance tradition with a style of its own.
There are many different dances - in lines, circles, couples or sets, all with easily-managed steps, to music that invites you to get to your feet.....
Some of the dances that we do are:
Sirba - Romanian/Moldavian. Hopping steps.
Kolomeika - Ukrainian. Fast, catchy tune, originally with fast but simple dance steps.
Freylekh - A lively or merry dance.
Sher - A set dance in square formation.
Bulgar - A  simple, easy to copy, energetic line or circle dance with a 6-beat step that we dance to music with 8 beat phrasing which feels really good! It is similar to an Israeli hora or a Romanian sirba step.
Hora - The Klezmer hora is a slow, almost stately, circle dance - very easy to join in with - which was popular in Moldavia and in the Bukovina region of the Ukraine.