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Georgian Dancing Melodies

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Georgian Dance History

Musical folklore holds a highly significant place in the life of the Georgian people. The art of song and dance was widespread among ancient Georgian tribes. King of Asureti Sargon (8th c.B.C.) said that "in the country of Mana songs had turned man's labor into joy" (Sh. Aslanishvili, "Sketches about Georgian folk songs"). From the writings of the celebrated Greek historian Xenophon one learns that in the 4th c.B.C. the age of paganism, secular music was popular among Georgian tribes. These were military and dance songs. The Chan tribes went to war singing military songs (I. Javakhishvili, "Basic questions of the history of Georgian Music"). The songs and dances of ancient Georgian tribes had always been unique which is testified again by Xenophon: "The ancient forbears of Georgia - the Mosiniks - danced and sang in their own specific way" (Sh. Aslanishvili, "Sketches about Georgian Folk Songs").

Although for ages Georgia suffered the attacks of foreign invaders its people managed to preserve their oral and written languages, religion and, original dance and song culture with its characteristic polyphony. This peculiarity should be noted the more so that the singing of the neighboring peoples is strictly monodic. Georgian folk singing and dancing are distinguished for their diversity of genre and original style of execution whose traditions were transmitted from one generation to another.

RUSTAVI

The "Rustavi" Company was founded in 1968. Anzor Erkomaishvili, Art Director of the "Rustavi" Company and the inspirer and organizer of this arduous work, has a special talent for developing the musical traditions, which the Erkomaishvili family had nurtured for ages. He represents the seventh generation of this remarkable dynasty of musicians. From his forbears Anzor Erkomaishvili has inherited a profound knowledge of folk music literature and performing traditions, the culture of Georgian folk music and the endeavor to preserve this music. A. Erkomaishvili does not only perform and popularize Georgian folk songs and poesies; he is also a researcher with a deep theoretical knowledge, the author of many interesting papers and the compiler of a collection of Georgian folk songs.

Fridon Sulaberidze, People Artist of Georgia who heads "Rustavi's" choreography ensemble, contributes immeasurably to its professional development by perfecting its performing style and dancing technique. His enthusiastic nature enables him to transmit his mastership in all its brilliance; under his guidance the dancers strive to achieve the unique eurhythmical movements of the folk dance. He aims at restoring and developing the ancient elements of Georgian folk dance and the dances he has produced for the stage are noted for their masterly performing technique. In his duet with Iamze Dolaberidze, People Artist of Georgia, F. Sulaberidze enchants the audience by his exclusive professionalism, genuine artistry and plasticity. Truly unique is "Kartuli" ("Georgian Dance") which is performed by the two artists with virtuoso mastership and artistic inspiration.

"Rustavi" Company is constantly on tour. The geography of its travels across the country is truly astonishing. Its concerts abroad are an invariable success. Wherever it has performed, and this includes, US and Canada, France and Spain, Germany and Belgium, Britain and Poland, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria and Guinea, Switzerland and Luxembourg, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Netherlands, the huge impact of Georgian folk songs and dances on the audience was universal.

SUKHISHVILI

The Georgian National Ballet was founded by Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili in 1945 and was initially named as The Georgian State Dance Company. It was the first professional state dance company in Georgia.

It is wholly due to them that Georgian national dancing and music has developed and become well known all over the world. Nino Ramishvili and Iliko Sukhishvili became inseparable partners both on stage and in life. Filled with determination, they made their dream a reality. Their life together was an adventure of creativity, which was fully realized through new generations of dancers.

The two hours program of The Georgian National Ballet is one continuous story of the adventure of the Georgian spirit, the change, which took place in its existence. The program presented by Sukhishvili and Ramishvili went through some important changes. The structure, architectonics, separate steps of each dance were improved and changed. The vector of all these changes was and is directed towards the inner wholeness. Every day, the creative search continues and we see how the evolution of dances progresses from illustrative to universal, from concreteness to general. The dances staged by The Georgian National Ballet for over the years have become a tradition. Children's ensembles, dancing circles, amateur groups work by the methods of Sukhishvili company.

The adventure of the Georgian Spirit, related by Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili will still fill the hearts of spectators with inexplicable emotions and bring to the world the story of a tiny people of great tragic artistry, humor and temperament.

The Georgian National Ballet has been represented by world's many well-known impresarios and companies. The Georgian National Ballet has appeared at the Albert Hall, The Coliseum, The Metropolitan Opera, Madison Square, and dozens of famous venues. In 1967, La Scala welcomed them - it is the first and the only time a folklore group was given a chance to perform there. The curtain was lifted 14 times, a record.

ERISIONI

The artists of Georgian Legend company have been trained by Erisioni, The Georgian National Singing and Dancing Ensemble, under the tutelage of Artistic Director Djemal Chkuaseli and Choreographer Revaz Chokhonelidze. This revered Georgian academy has just celebrated its 115th anniversary.

The company's artists rehearse six hours per day, six days per week, year-round, to prepare for Georgian Legend's performances. They give everything they have on stage, not only because they love their art, but also because they are proud to be their country's cultural ambassadors.

The Dances

Georgian dance reflects Georgian life. Some dances emphasize bravery and courage, others reflect fluidity, grace and elegance. They sometimes pay tribute to the snow-covered summits of the Caucasus mountains, or tell the story of the fall of a fortress, or the training of men with sabers. Like the polyphonic songs, the dances were passed on by the Georgian ancestors and evolved throughout centuries thanks to the talents of the choreographers and the performers. A famous Georgian choreographer, George Balanchine, has definitely left his mark.

During the last 15 centuries, Georgia was invaded 22 times by its neighbors. This has produced a rich multiethnic culture, extraordinary costumes and dances with Persian, Russian, Arabic, Mongol and Judaic influences.

The Songs

Through their polyphonic harmonies the singers pass on the emotion of ten centuries of Georgian song. Traditionally Georgians have sung to celebrate their work, to prepare for battle, to renew their spirit, to remember their history. The polyphonic songs of Georgian Legend embody the rich and tumultuous history of the ancestors of the Georgian people.

In 1977, the US space agency NASA launched a space probe called "Voyager" with exemplars of the finest artistic and music talents as a testimony of the human race's abilities. The Georgian song "Tchakrulo" (translate "Union") that you will discover in the show was sent into outer space as mankind's ultimate vocal achievement.

Acharuli
has also originated in the region of Achara. It is where the dance gets its name from. Acharuli is distinguished from other dances with its colorful costumes and the playful mood that simple but definite movements of both men and women create on stage. The dance is characterized with graceful, soft, and playful flirtation between the males and females. Unlike Kartuli, the relationship between men and women in this dance is more informal and lighthearted. Acharuli instills the sense of happiness in both the dancer and the audience.

Davluri is also a city dance, but unlike Kintouri and Karachokheli, it portrays the city aristocracy. The dance reminds us of Kartuli. However, the movements in Davluri are less complicated and the male/female relationship is less formal. The dance is performed by many couples and with the music and colorful costumes, paints a picture of an aristocratic feast on stage.

Jeirani -This dance is built on the hunting episode on a doe and is beautifully choreographed by Nino Ramishvili. The dance incorporates not only classical ballet movements but also paints a breathtaking picture of a hunting scene. Everyone who saw Jeirani performed by Nino Ramishvili cannot forget the beautiful body movements, unique dance steps and the dancing spirit charged into the audience (The Georgian National Ballet).

Karachokheli was a city craftsman and generally wore black chokha (traditional men's wear). They were known for hard work and, at the same time, for a carefree life. His love for life, wine (which Georgia is famous for) and beautiful women is well represented in the dance Karachokheli.

Qartuli - The dance Qartuli many times reminds the audience of a wedding. Qartuli is a truly romantic dance. It is performed by a dance couple and incorporates the softness and gracefulness of a woman and dignity and love of a man. It shows that even in love, men uphold their respect and manners by not touching the woman and maintaining a certain distance from her. The man focuses his eyes on his partner as if she were the only woman in the whole world. He keeps his upper body motionless at all times. The woman keeps her eyes downcast at all times and glides on the rough floor as a swan on the smooth surface of a lake. The utmost skill, which is necessary to perform Kartuli, has earned the dance a reputation of one of the most difficult dances. There were only a few great performers of Qartuli. Some of these are Nino Ramishvili and Iliko Sukhishvili, and Iamze Dolaberidze and Pridon Sulaberidze.

Kazbeguri takes us to the Northern Mountains of Georgia, which is marked with a diverse culture and traditions. The relatively cold and rough atmosphere of the mountains is shown through the vigor and the strictness of the movements. This dance is performed by only men and portrays the toughness and endurance of the mountain people.

Khanjluri -Historically, Georgians tend to strive for excellence. This trend is portrayed in our folk dances. Thus, many Georgian dances are based on the idea of competition. Khanjluri is one of those dances. In this dance, shepherds, dressed in red chokhas (traditional men's wear) compete with each other in the usage of daggers and in performing complicated movements. One performer replaces another, and the courage and skill overflows on stage. Since Khanjluri involves daggers and knives, it requires tremendous skill and practice on the part of the performers.

Khevsuruli -This mountain dance is probably the best representative of the Georgian spirit. It unites love, courage, and respect for women, toughness, competition, skill, beauty, and colorfulness into one amazing performance. The dance starts out with a flirting couple. Unexpectedly, another young men appears, also seeking the hand of the woman. A conflict breaks out and soon turns into a vigorous fighting between the two men and their supporters. The quarrel is stopped temporarily by the woman's veil. Traditionally, when a woman throws her head veil between two men, all disagreements and fighting halts. However, as soon as the woman leaves the scene, the fighting continues even more vigorously. The young men from both sides attack each other with swords and shields. In some occasions, one man has to fight off three attackers. At the end, a woman (or women) comes in and stops the fighting with her veil once again. However, the final of the dance is "open"-meaning that the audience does not know the outcome of the fighting. As a characteristic of Georgian dances, Khevsuruli is also very technical and requires intense practice and utmost skill in order to perform the dance without hurting anyone.

Khorumi -This war dance has originated in the region of Achara, which is located in the southwestern region of Georgia. The dance was originally performed by only a few man. However, over time it has grown in scale. In today's version of Khorumi, thirty or forty dancers can participate. Although the number of performers changed, the content of the dance is still the same. The dance brings to life Georgian army of the past centuries. A few men who are searching the area for a campsite and enemy camps perform the initial "prelude" to the dance. Afterwards, they call the army onto the battlefield. The exit of the army is quite breathtaking. Its strength, simple but distinctive movements and the exactness of lines create a sense of awe on stage. The dance incorporates in itself the themes of search, war, and the celebration of victory as well as courage and glory of Georgian soldiers. Since Georgia has seen many wars throughout its history, Khorumi is a call from the past and reminds us that in order to have peace, we must have war.

Khonga and Simdi - Both of these dances have their roots in Osetia - a region in Northern Georgia. They have much in common but are also significantly different from each other. The costumes in both dances are distinguished with long sleeves. In addition, the headwear of both the women and the men are exceptionally high. The movements in both dances are also similar. However, in Khonga men dance on point, which is particularly difficult but is a beautiful sight. Khonga is performed by a few dancers and is characterized by the grace and softness of the movements. On the other hand, Simdi is danced by many couples. The beauty of Simdi is in the strict graphic outline of the dance, the contrast between black and white costumes, the softness of movements, the strictness of line formations, and the harmony created by all of the above.

Kintouri is one of the city dances portraying the city life in old Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. The dance takes its name after "kintos" who were small merchants in Tbilisi. They wore black outfits with baggy pants and usually carried their goods (mostly food) on their heads around the city. When a customer chose goods, a kinto would take the silk shawl hanging from his silver belt and wrap the fruits and vegetables in them to weigh (Sited from The Georgian National Ballet). Kintos were known to be cunning, swift, and informal. Such characteristics of kinto are well shown in Kintouri. The dance is light natured and fun to watch.

Mtiuluri is also a mountain dance. Similar to Khevsuruli, Mtiuluri is also based on competition. However, in this dance, the competition is mainly between two groups of young men. It is more like a celebration of skill and art. At first, groups compete in performing complicated movements. Then, we see girl's dance, which is followed by individual dancer's performance of amazing "tricks" on their knees and toes. At the end, everyone dances a beautiful final. This dance truly reminds us of a festival in the mountains.

Partsa has its origins in Guria (another region in Georgia) and is characterized by its fast pace, rhythm, festive mood, and colorfulness. As a performer, I can say that during a partsa performance, a dancer feels like a bird in the sky, flying across the stage barely touching the floor. Partsa mesmerizes the audience with not only speed and gracefulness, but also with "live towers". This dance creates a mood and a desire to party.

Samaia -The dance Samaia is performed by three women and originally, was considered to be a dance of Pagan times. However, today's Samaia is a representation of King Tamar and her glory. King Tamar in many sources is mentioned as a Queen of Georgia. However, she was considered to be the king of the United Kingdom of Georgia in 12th-13th centuries and was the first woman king in Georgia's history. There are only four frescos that keep the much-revered image of King Tamar. Simon Virsaladze based the costumes of Samaia on the King's clothing on those frescos. In addition, the trinity idea in the dance represents King Tamar as a young princess, a wise mother and the powerful king. All these three images are united in one harmonious picture. Moreover, the simple but soft and graceful movements create an atmosphere of beauty, glory and power that surrounded the King's reign.

Georgian dancing melodies /ქართული ხალხური სიმღერები და ცეკვები

Tracklist:

1. Qartuli / ქართული 1:57
2. Qalta tsekva / ქალთა ცეკვა 3:04
3. Xorumi / ხორუმი 4:45
4. Rostom chabiki / როსტომ ჭაბუკი 4:02
5. Samaia / სამაია 3:03
6. Xanjluri / ხანჯლური 1:59
7. Simdi / სიმდი 5:07
8. Davluri / დავლური 3:24
9. Muxambazi / მუხამბაზი 3:51
10. Mtiuluri / მთიულური 3:41
11. Shatilis asulo / შატილის ასულო 2:25
12. Acharuli / აჭარული 3:15
13. Xorumi / ხორუმი 6:10
14. Qartuli / ქართული 2:09

Add to Cart:

  • Model: Audio CD
  • Artist: Various
  • Music Genre: Dance




This product was added to our catalog on Friday 29 January, 2016.

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