Lad's dances in Romania


Inscribed in 2015 (10.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Zamfir Dejeu
Lad’s dances are a genre of men’s folk dance in Romania practised in community life on festive occasions, such as weddings and holidays, as well as during stage performances. Each community has its own variants, all of which display virtuosity and harmonious combinations of movement and rhythm. A special role is assigned to the dance leader and coordinator who trains and integrates group members, while the second leader is selected for his skills as a performer and leads the dance. Dancers group themselves into groups of boys and men aged 5 to 70, which may include Romanian, Hungarian and Roma dancers. This aspect contributes to intercultural dialogue and provides a context for learning more about cultural diversity, by witnessing, for example, local performers dancing at regional events or by observing choreographic styles of different ethnic groups. All community members are bearers and practitioners of the element, and taking part in the dance, be it as performers or spectators, enhances social cohesion. Lad’s dances provide an opportunity for young men to strengthen their social status in traditional communities, particularly among girls and their families in anticipation of marriage.