Norway–Halling Dance


The halling dance is the oldest documented dance in all of Northern Europe; there are pictures of halling dancers painted on caves that are potentially 2,500 years old. The halling dance is acrobatic, competitive and a wonder to see. Each halling dancer chooses his own choreography based upon his level of ambition and skill. Dancers leap, prance, spin on their heads and generally try the push the boundaries of what is physically possible and, simultaneously, graceful. For example, check out Hallgrim Hansegård‘s performance of a halling dance and follow along with some of the main moves:

— the nakkespretten (neck jump–1:25)
hodestift (going over the head–2:33)
kruking (hooked dancing–2:38)
hallingkast (halling throw–5:20) In this move, which is often the high point of a halling
dance, a girl holds a hat high on a stick and the dancer kicks the hat off.
headspin (2,500 years earlier than

If you want to learn the halling dance step by step, follow along with the FRIKAR dance company’s instructional videos: gangelag | rebnetaket | helrulla | tåtaket | sviving | helikopter | fotkross | heldehopp | rulle kråke | kast over geitè | snuskverna etter Ola Øde (totally a breakdancing move)

In class we’re going to listen to Karen Torkelson Solgård’s version of the traditional Norwegian song, “Fossegrimen (the Waterfall Grinch)” and try some halling dance moves. Though maybe we won’t try “snuskverna etter Ola Øde.”

More information:
Wikipedia’s take on the halling dance | FRIKAR dance company’s history of the halling dance | KT pdx’s page on “Scandinavian Competitive Dances: Stick Dances and the Halling” | See the halling dance performed in 1935


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