The character of the national choreographic culture of Karachay-Cherkessia is quite diverse and expresses the temperament, aesthetic ideals of the people, their attitude to human values ​​and peace, a sense of the substance of being. The dance in this case is a peculiar link connecting a person with nature and God (gives rise to magical powers).

The ancient dances of Karachay-Cherkessia are closely associated with song, music, drama, prayer, props. Ancient national dance always carries multifunctional specificity: each generation has left its own peculiarities in it. Moreover, the ancient dance was noticeably transformed: some of the elements disappeared, being enriched by new content. This proves the variety of options for dancing. The traditional art of dance has significant typical features and patterns that play a crucial role. One of these features is the presence of the internal rhythm of the dance, which is the basis of organizing dance movements, the basis of the idea of ​​their birth.

Ancient national dances of the region have many expressive means that make them meaningful and interesting. Performers of dances easily own their bodies, are deprived of stiffness, therefore they are free to choose these means: these include various gestures, movements of arms, legs, head, body. The content of these dances reflected the work of man, the animal and plant world, character, morals, history of the people, their way of life, which are transmitted by their movements in the pictorial and imitative form.

As noted above, folk dance is periodically transformed, obsolete elements disappear in it and new, viable, with new content appear, which give the traditional movements a qualitatively different meaning. This is especially noticeable in the content of the dance. So, for example, the dance “Süzülup” is like flowing water, since it is performed very smoothly, the dance “Atyp” is swift, as if “shooting”, and “Typerdap” is “twitching”.

The state ensemble of Karachay-Cherkessia "Elbrus" at his solo concert. Photo:
The state ensemble of Karachay-Cherkessia "Elbrus" at its solo concert. Photo:

One of the most famous - dance "Ashtotura". The performers of this ritual song - dance lined up in one line and raised their hands upwards, then at the command of the elder they sank down on one knee, with their heads down - towards the god of the land Teiry. Then the dancers leaned to the right, left, back and forth, walked to the Ashtotur stone, finally got up on their toes. The senior hunter commanded "Ashtotur!" And everyone returned back. In part of the variations of the dance, the stone Ashtoture is “performed” by a man, he sits down on his knees, bending the body forward, and the rest dance around him.

Other folk dances of Karachaevo-Cherkessia, which should be noted as the most famous and significant ones, are the werewolf dance “Aubur”, the circular dance “Tegerek tepuseu”, the ritual dance “Hychauman”, the dance of the archer “Zhiya”, the dance with the felt flop “Kamchi”, dance with the ring “Juzuk Oyun”, dance of the Eryuzmek with demons “Yeruzmek bla shaitanla”, harvest dance “Gollu” and winter dance “Bashilayy”.

An integral part of the national holidays of Karachay-Cherkessia are ritual dances, whose history goes back to ancient times and which are connected with the life of the people. The ritual dance has always been the basis of the function of the dance, and the main idea of ​​the ceremony is concentrated in it. Without dance, the rite will be unfinished. The content and specifics of such dances are multifunctional. For example: in the rite of "Hardar", the dance is devoted to plowing, in Apsaty and Ashtotura - hunting, and in "Kurek biich" - inducing rain.

Today, folk choreography of Karachay-Cherkessia has great potential for harmonious spiritual and physical development, aesthetic improvement of the inhabitants of the region. Folk dance is the richest source of aesthetic impressions; it forms the artistic “me” as an integral part of the “tool of society”, through which it draws the most intimate and most personal aspects of a person into the circle of social life.

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