Kopachkata, a social dance from the village of Dramche, Pijanec

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Inscribed in 2014 (9.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Anastasov Kircho, 2014

Kopachkata is a dynamic and energetic social dance performed by local residents of the village of Dramche in the region of Pijanec. It is danced at weddings, public gatherings and religious holidays by the village’s best male dancers. The dance is performed in a semicircle accompanied by drummers, a fiddle, and sometimes a tamboura lute or bagpipes. The key roles are the dance leader, who initiates the dance, the last dancer, and the middle dancer who acts as the fulcrum, balancing the left and right sides of the semicircle. During the dance, the dancers hold each other’s belts with crossed hands, to ensure stability as their movements quicken. The dance starts with a slow walking movement, then changes to swift and short steps, followed by quicker steps and foot stamping. Younger, newer participants learn by taking the last place in the semicircle, and moving closer to the front as their competence progresses. For local audiences, the Kopachkata dance is a symbol of cultural identity, not only of the community of the village of Dramche, but for the wider Pijanec region.

"Ezgija" - opening rintro with drums performance. A position where the drums are one upon another and on top stands the youngest drummer looking in the distant horizon to see whether the dancers are coming to the dancing place.
"Buying the drummer". After forming the main body of the dance line, the master (oldest) drummer comes in front of the leading dancer in the line, who pays the drummer for the performance that follows.
"Shetanicata" (walking figure). Starting the dance with the light slow steps, according the beat of the drum.
"Sitnoto" (small steps figure). The dance continues after the change to the second part of the drum beat with small steps of the dancers.
"Prefrlachkata" (crossing legs figure) when the left foot is swiftly switched over the right foot and the dancers speed up the dance to its climax.
"Kopachkata" (digging figure). The fastest and most dynamic figure, where the dancers jump to the right leg and stand firmly on it while the left foot is repeatedly hitting the ground and digging the sand under their feet.
"Female performance of Kopachka". Women dancing with the sound of the fiddle during a public gathering ceremony in the village of Dramche.
"Kopnuvanje" (digging figure). The Kopachka performance at a satellite broadcast program on national television.
The form-up line of Kopachka, in front of the young drummers (new members of the folk dance group) as contemporary interaction between generations.
The tradition continues...the speech for the youngsters to know and to keep the knowledge for their dance tradition