Zulma L'Orientale



Contemporary Description

A cross between the Bohemian Polka and Varsovienne, this mid-19th century polka variation is described as "lively" and "graceful."


The Position

Waltz position throughout.


The Footwork

2 bars: One full turn of polka.

1 bar: Point leading toe to the floor straight along LOD (4th position), then draw it back to hollow of the trailing foot (3rd position).

1 bar: Half turn of polka.*

* Ferrero 1859 replaces this half-turning polka with a half-turning slide-hop.

Repeat opposite.

Several sources note that this, like most turning variations, can be reversed.


The Music

Polka music.

Fererro 1859 provides the following music:


The Origin

It is presented as a "new dance" in Hillgrove 1858.


© 2015 Nick Enge


(Click to expand)

Historical Descriptions


Zulma L'Orientale (Hillgrove, 1858):

A New Dance—Music in Common Time.

Description of the Steps.

The gentleman commences with the left foot and executes two Polka steps, turning round, (which occupies 2 bars of music).

Then place the point of the left foot in the fourth position (count one)—then bring the heel of the left foot back into the hollow of the right, (third position&mdashcount two)—make a slight spring on the right foot and slide the left foot forward, bringing the right foot up behind the left in third position (count three)—then slide the left foot forward again and turn half round finishing on the left foot with the right foot behind (count four).—Occupying two bars. In all four bars.

For a lady the directions are the same, except reversing the feet.


Zulma L'Orientale (Ferrero, 1859):

This dance is composed of four measures. The gentleman commences with the left foot and executes two polka steps (which form the first two measures). Place the point of the left foot in the fourth position; then in the third position (third measure). Slide the left foot forward and spring, raising the right (fourth measure); then commence with the right foot and execute the same; turn round and reverse, as in other dances.


Zulma L'Orientale (Hillgrove, 1863):

Music in Two-Four Time.

This is a lively, graceful dance. The position is the same as for the Waltz or Polka.

Part First.

The gentleman commences with the left foot and executes two Polka steps, turning round (which occupy two bars of music).

Part Second.

1st. Place the point of the left foot in the fourth position (count one).

2d. Bring the heel of the left foot back into the hollow of the right, third position (count two).

3d. Make a slight spring on the right foot and slide the left foot forward, bringing the right foot up behind the left in third position (count three).

4th. Then slide the left foot forward again and turn half round, finishing on the left foot with the right foot behind (count four).

These four movements occupy two bars of music.

Then recommence the first part, with the right foot, and so on, first commencing with one foot, and then with the other alternately.

For a lady the directions are the same, except reversing the feet.

Turn round and reverse, as in other dances.


Zulma L'Orientale (Hillgrove, 1864):

[Same as Hillgrove 1863]


Zulma L'Orientale (Dick & Fitzgerald, 1878):

Music in 4-4 Time.

This dance is composed of four measures, or bars.

Gentleman.

The gentleman commences with the left foot and executes two polka steps; this occupies two bars of music, and is the first half of the Zulma movement. The second is executed as follows:

1. Place the point of the toe of the left foot in the fourth position; count one.

2. Bring the heel of the left foot back in the hollow of the right; count two.

3. Slide the left foot forward, at the same time springing slightly on the right foot; bring it up behind the left; count three.

4. Slide the left foot again forward, turning half round, and finish on the left foot with the right behind, in the third position; count four.

This occupies two bars of music and completes the movement of four bars.

The same is now repeated, beginning the polka or first half of the movement with the right foot, using each foot alternately to commence the step.

Lady.

Same as the gentleman, only the feet are reversed, she starting with the right, instead of the left foot.


For more, including descriptions of 25 different waltzes and hundreds of variations thereof, see Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living a book by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.


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