Hora, a dance with strong off-beats and asymmetric meters, is one of the dances that uses accompaniment. It is popular in Israel and among Israeli immigrants.
Other forms of entertainment available at weddings include wedding singers, who sing during the dancing period; wedding DJs, who play music after the dancing period; and wedding bands, who play both before and after dinner. In addition, there are regional differences: In North America, the father of the bride often pays for the wedding band, while in Europe it is more common for friends to contribute toward the cost of hiring a band or DJ.
Wedding guests may offer words of advice to the couple, known as "wedding speeches". These can be given by family members, friends, or even the couple's doctor or clergyman. Wedding speakers usually contain good wishes for the couple and may also include jokes about the marriage proposal or the husband-to-be.
Weddings in Israel are very similar to those in North America. The main difference is that the bride does not wear a traditional dress to Jewish ceremonies. She wears a black jacket and pants or skirt. The groom wears a white shirt and dark suit or sport coat.
The Hora is a Romanian and Israeli folk dance performed in a connected circle. The Hora Mare, or Great Hora, is the most popular Romanian hora and is performed for both important events such as weddings and for relaxation. In Israel, the Hora is used by many different communities - Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardi Jews, Arabs, Druze, and Christians. It is usually done as a celebration dance after a wedding ceremony or other event.
How do you dance the hora? First, you need to understand that there are two types of horas: the free-style hora and the choreographed hora. Only the free-style hora requires any special skills to perform.
In the free-style hora, people of the same family or group will often take it in turns to lead the dance. The leader starts by walking around the room with the others following him or her. They may stop at certain points in the dance and turn their partners in order to show them being "courted". There are several variations on how this part of the dance is played out, but generally women will want to be turned around once men start dancing with them. This part of the dance can be quite flirtatious!
Horah, Temani, Atari, and other traditional dance rhythms Strong offbeats and asymmetrical meters are common in these dancing rhythms. They are used to accompany popular Israeli traditional dances. At Adama, based on a Bedouin song and performed by Ran Eliran, is an example of a debka rhythm. It has a strong beat that rises at the end of each line of poetry.
Other dances that use this type of music include hora, temanim, and atari. Hora is a very fast dance with a heavy emphasis on footwork. The temani is a more relaxed version of the hora where there are more pauses between steps. The atari is similar to the temani but instead of three people per group, there can be as many as six or seven. The atari is usually only done as an exhibition dance for winners of regional competitions.
These dances were popular among Jews fleeing Palestine after it was captured by the Arab League in 1948.
Today, they are still danced by Israelis of all religions at festivals, during Yom Kippur, and on Sukkot holidays. The music itself is also often played at Jewish weddings to celebrate the marriage's happiness and longevity.
The typical Israeli wedding ceremony includes a hora before the chupat ha-yehudit (ring ceremony). The hora is followed by the viduy, or ritual circumcision of the bride's son.