For this month’s Genre Buzz we are featuring The Age Old Joyfulness And Expressiveness of Armenian Folk Dance!
The Armenian dance (Armenian: Հայկական Պար) heritage has been one of the oldest, richest and most varied in the Near East. From the fifth to the third millennia B.C., in the higher regions of Armenia, the land of Ararat, there are rock paintings of scenes of country dancing. These dances were probably accompanied by certain kinds of songs or musical instruments. In the fifth century, Moses of Khoren (Movsés Khorenats’i) himself had heard of how the old descendants of Aram (that is Armenians) make mention of these things (epic tales) in the ballads for the lyre and their songs and dances.
Traditional dancing is still popular among expatriate Armenians, and has also been very successfully `exported’ to international folk dance groups and circle dance groups all over the world. The majority of people feel something special in Armenian dances, and in the passion, subtlety, and eloquence which they embody. All dancers wear the traditional costume to embody the history of their culture and bring their ancestors stories alive. The design of these costumes are influenced by many factors, such as religious traditions, family methods, and practicality. The traditional deep red color and exquisite beading of the costumes brings the dance and the tradition together. The beautiful movements of the Armenian cultural dance are adored by all audience around the world.
Having thousands of years of history, Armenian national dance art derives its origin from a pre-Christian period-time marked by pagan worship. On the whole, the Armenian dance art has long been one of the most revealing expressions of its character and aesthetic thinking as well as highlights its national idiosyncrasy, inner world and attitude towards nature and life at large. In these latter days, the Republic of Armenia, being one of the smallest parts of Historical Armenia, is enormously rich with its national dances and folk songs. Having survived through the various historical challenges, Armenians managed to sustain their ethnic dance art. The main features of Armenian folk dance art are, as it were, preserved in modern Armenian group dances, involving men and women performing national and traditional dances respectively.
Among men, to begin with, it manifests itself by remarkable adroitness, joyfulness and virility. Among women, however, the grace, expressiveness of movements has crystallized the spirituality, decency and worldly tenderness of Armenian women.
Here are some videos from around the world we have selected to display this fantastic dance style!