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.