Romanian Căluş originated as a healing and fertility ritual performed by groups of an odd number of men, bound together by an oath. By the beginning of the 20th century its ritual form survived mainly in southern Romania and among Romanian minorities in northern Bulgaria (Mellish, 2006), although remnants of this custom could be found in much of the rest of Romania, and throughout the Balkans. The Căluş tradition, especially through the art of the dance, caught the attention of the pilgrims, historians, researchers and has always raised the general admiration. The complexity and the mystery of this ritual, along with the virtuosity of the dance accompanying it (Figure 1), attracted the interest of many specialists, who have mentioned, along the time, the beauty and complexity of this custom. At the end of 2005, the Căluş custom was included by the UNESCO in the list of the immaterial masterpieces of humanity.
The bibliography of the last centuries concerning the Căluş is rich in describing the custom, mentioning all the stages of the ritual. The descriptions and the theories about this custom stress mainly the aspects concerning the dance, its role and function within the ritual, and its magical virtues. From an anthropological point of view, the theories about the origins of the custom are numerous, and each researcher associates the Căluş with certain dances and rituals belonging to other people.
The present form of the custom is based on the Thracian one, with all the influences added along the time, taking into account the central position of the Romanian regions towards the cultural currents around them. Căluş is a very popular dance at specific regions in the south and central parts of Romania. The Căluş is met today in the regions of Oltenia and Muntenia, and each locality has its particularities concerning the manner in which the ritual is performed. Some identifiable dance motifs, which make up the Călus figures, are inherited or created by the famous leaders or Calusari, bearing their manes or manes linked to the place they come from.
The musical measure is 2/4 and the rhythm is binary and binary syncopated. The Rhythmic cells are: Dipiric, Anapest, Dactil, Spondeu, Amfibrah, while Rhythmic motifs are formed by combining two or more rhythmic binary cells. The superposition between the dance and musical phrases, in archaic form, is in most cases unmatched. The rhythm of the dance superposes and completes the rhythm of the song, creating a polyrhythmic effect.