Thanks to the Albanian Film Archive and the Albanian Cinema Project, a new piece of preservation is in the works as part of the Orphan Film Project. At this moment, a 16mm print (with a magnetic soundtrack) is in transit from Tirana to New York. Archivist Eriona Vyshka (head of collections and cataloging) has assigned catalog entry KF-16 the title [Albanian dances from northwest and north regions]. (Perhaps the short title among the preservation team will become North by Northwest??) Throughout the spring 2013 NYU semester, Bill Brand and his MIAP graduate students will preserve this six and half minutes of footage as part of the yearly Film Preservation course.
|video frame grab from KF-16 (Courtesy of the Albanian Film Archive)|
The intertitles indicate the dancers were filmed in the towns of Shënkoll (district of Lezhe) and Tropojë (near the Kosovo border). Eriona Vyshka translates the sections of the film as:
- Dance of sowing the crops (work rituals)
- Wedding song
- Dance of “Logue” [?] (lyrical, erotic)
- Tropoja women dance (lyrical, epic)
|18 December 2012|
(Ministry of Defence; www.mod.gov.al)
For those of us limited to English-language sources, there is at least one book from which to learn:
Ramazan H. Bogdani, Etnokoreografi kosovare hasjane (Tirana: Globus R, 2005), 323 pages; 150 photographs; English summary of 16 pages. According to Albanian-Folklore.com [yes!] the volume is "complementary to the 1977 publication of Folklori koreografik i Hasit. This book is a further study of the dances of the Has region [Kosovo]. The characteristics are described per village with photographs of the costumes and dances. A further chapter describes the 17 mentioned dances themselves, sometimes using the full description by measure with musical scores...."
A delightful irony for English-Albanian cross-promotion:
the final frame of the film.
|Courtesy of the Albanian Film Archive|
FUND of course is the Albanian word for "end." But for the purposes of the Albanian Cinema Project and the AQShF, funds are needed to accelerate the preservation of this national film heritage. You can read more about the urgency and cultural value of this effort at the project website. Or write to ACP director Dr. Regina Longo [ regmlongo2 @ gmail ].
For now, simply FUND!