Traditional Jewish Wedding Music and Dance
The traditional Jewish wedding ceremony is a combination of several different traditions and customs. The wedding dance is an integral part of a Jewish wedding.
Planning a Jewish wedding dance can include a number of traditional Jewish dances interspersed between contemporary and secular music. The bride and groom often decide what to include based on how traditional the wedding festivities will be.
Jewish Dance Trends
Jewish weddings are often ripe with customs passed down from generation to generation, and dances are no exception. Contemporary couples may choose to devote a portion of their wedding reception music to participating in classic dances. They may base this upon their own wishes, the desires of their parents, or the ratio of guests who will understand how to engage in these dances.
If a large percentage of the guests are not familiar with Jewish dance customs, it is courteous to include more contemporary or even secular music along with the traditional dances. Many American couples often choose to incorporate dances like the father/daughter dance. Of course, the ultimate decision on how to conduct the wedding dance is up to the couple.
Traditional Jewish Wedding Dances
Music and dance are an integral part of a Jewish culture. Singing and dancing are a perfect way to express pleasure and happiness. Some examples of traditional Jewish dances are horah, mezinke (krenzl), Israeli folk dance, bulgar, broiges dance and yemenite. Jewish dances are performed at various Jewish festivals and celebrations. The Jews have included their traditional dances as a vital part of wedding celebrations. Even in the modern times, Jews perform wedding dances during the marriage ceremony to pay homage to their traditions. The couple usually prefer to hire a Jewish band that is familiar with traditional as well as contemporary Jewish wedding music. By ritual, the wedding couple (bride and groom) are the first to dance and the guests are invited to participate. Following are some of the popular traditional Jewish wedding dances:
During the Hora, the bride and groom are lifted above the shoulders of guests. Sitting upon chairs, they may wave handkerchiefs at each other or hold onto the ends of a single handkerchief. A large circle of guests is formed around them, dancing clockwise or counterclockwise. Foot movements include kicks and grapevine-like steps. Weaving and bopping up and down may also occur. The circle of friends and family often alternate between a large loose circle and coming in close to the couple and out again.
Several variations of the Hora can be done. It is usually danced to the song Hava Nagila or a compilation of energetic traditional music.
Mezinke Tanz (Krenzl)
The Mezinke Tanz is a dance that arose out of the traditional Krenzl. Krenzl, which refers to a crown, occurred when the last daughter was married. The mother of the bride would be seated in the center of a circle and crowned with flowers as her daughters or guests danced around her.Dancing of the Mezinke Tanz is reserved for parents whose last son or daughter has been married. Both parents are seated in the center of a large circle, with crowns atop their head, as people dance in a circular fashion around them.
Gladdening of the Bride
This traditional Jewish wedding dance form is performed at the end of the wedding reception. The bride sits at the center of dance floor and the guests and close family members dance around her. They also sing praises about her.
A popular Jewish dance that the Jews perform at weddings and other occasions, the Yemenite involves just three steps with a small pause on the last one. It has non-moving hopping and posturing and hence, can be performed in confined space.
Jewish couples will often choose to celebrate their wedding with a dance and reception. The choice of music may reflect their heritage or simply their personal music taste. The Hora is often the most commonly performed dance at a Jewish reception, and dancing traditional cultural dances can lead to happy memories for many anniversaries.