luter (luther) / lendler

Music for download - „Luter

The melody and choreographic elements of the Luther dance emerged at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century in the border village of Bukówiec Górny near Leszno Wielkopolskie. The Luther belongs to the group of dances that in the Wielkopolska region are called “przybysze” (newcomers). They were brought to Poland from the West, mainly from Germany, Holland and Austria, hence their similarity of German Lendlers. Numerous variants of Luther came to Poland via different routes and under different historical circumstances (economic migration, military enlistment, etc.), and were then adapted and included in the repertoire of local dances.

The Luther dance can be danced in any number of couples that move around a circle, in an anti-clockwise direction. It is an energetic dance composed of numerous choreographic elements and motifs (e.g. step touch, rotations performed in couples around a common axis and ending with a stamp). It is usually danced at a steady, fast pace, in 4/4 metre. During dance parties, the person ordering the dance (often a woman) approaches the band and says “A tero grocze, lutra” (Now you will play the Luther), after these words, she sings a folk song, which opens with the following words: “Luther is not dead...”.              

Many of variants of Luther are accompanied with folk songs and the first words of this song influence the names of these variants, e.g. siódemka (the seven), luter (Luther), duda, Marynia.             

Although Luther dances do not belong to the group of indigenous dances (like wiwats, chodzony dances or obereks), they can – similarly to walcerek dances or szoczy dances – serve as an excellent example of mutual penetration of the elements of folklore from different national states. Folk dances that arrived to Poland from other European countries (the so-called “przybysze” – newcomers) and changed under the influence of the Polish music, dances and customs, are an interesting example of creative adaptation.