The formation of the folk dance culture of the Circassians over the centuries was not easy and in constant search. The historical and social sources of the appearance of their own folk choreography in Adygea were folk traditions, psychology and creative thinking of the people.

Self-expression in dance acquired over time special forms, techniques and character, and became part of the rich cultural heritage of the republic. It is believed that the impetuousness of the dancers and the speed of folk dances completely shifted from the Adyghe warriors who participated in numerous Caucasian wars.

Adyghean folk dances. Photo from
Adyghean folk dances. Photo from

Syncopic rhythm is the result of the horse’s running and perception by the horsemen — warriors — translated into dance movements. There are in these dances and the best qualities of the Circassians - pride, modesty, heroism and fortitude. Dance for the Adyg is as a manifestation of life foundations, a peculiar model of its life.

Dancing was always a favorite entertainment in Adygea: at holidays, weddings, any solemn and joyful occasions music, singing, clapping and, of course, the dance with jumps and unusual sharp movements sounded.
For a long time, Circassians have preserved original dance tunes and theatrical pantomimes with dance performances (dzheguaco, ajgafy).

Adyghean folk dances. Photo from
Adyghean folk dances. Photo from

Improvisation and acting finds are the distinctive side of such representations. Adyg dancing is always emotional due to the dancer's noticeable readiness for action, his openness, but at the same time - inner peace and attentiveness.

At the heart of many Adyghe dances there are mythological concepts: “Dygye” or the sun - this is a kind of code of national dance. So, the shape of the sun contributed to the appearance of circular dances. But the biggest source of the content of Adyghe dances is the Nart epic: “Once the brave sleds gathered on the black mountain and started dancing, competing in the dance with the sleds. Shabotnuko jumped onto a three-legged round table and started to dance, without spilling even a drop of seasoning and without disturbing the order ... ”

The most characteristic features of Adyghe national dances

The first feature: the head, shoulders, torso, arms and legs of the dancer are synchronized in movements and take those positions that correspond to the specific elements of a particular dance. So there is a deep disclosure of the content of the dance.

Adyghean folk dances. Photo from
Adyghean folk dances. Photo from

Second: the head of the dancer is usually directed towards the partner. The girls in dance bow their heads to one of the shoulders and, if necessary, turn it in one direction or another, modestly lower your eyes. The young men always hold their heads high, they turn in the necessary direction more abruptly and impetuously.

Facial expression. Usually it is restrained smiles and a calm face in general in girls and more expressive in boys.

The shoulders of the dancers. Turning synchronously with the body, emphasizing the severity, restraint and pride. During turns, the corresponding shoulder first slowly begins to move in the desired direction. The girls lower their shoulders a little, and the young men hold them straight, and unroll them slightly.

The positions and movements of the arms and legs of the dancers are diverse and complex. They often meet a number of characteristic hand positions, and especially - in the dance movements of girls. But to describe such movements in words is extremely difficult. Therefore, let us leave a specific topic to professional choreographers and visitors of the Adyghe folk dance studios.

In Adygea there are many dances that require skill and excellence. Such of them as lezginka, hasht, lo-kouzhe, kafa, uj - at the same time complex, stately and beautiful. But for any adyg dance is a demonstration of fortitude when the impossible becomes possible. And this is art. A kind of gratitude for the mercies received from the ancient gods, this is a reflection of life in all its many-sided beauty, this is the way to the knowledge of the vast and meaningful world of human feelings. Deprived of its emotional content, the dance ceases to be an art.

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