Adyghean folk dances

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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 a consequence of the running of a horse translated into dance movements and the perception of it by riders - warriors. In these dances there are also the best qualities of the Circassians - pride, modesty, heroism and fortitude. Dance for Adyghe is a manifestation of life principles, a peculiar model of his 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 a hallmark of such representations. Adyghe dances are 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 dances with 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. In them, a number of characteristic positions of the hands are more common, 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 to the Adyghe folk dance studios.

There are many dances in Adygea that require skill and perfection. Such ones as lezginka, hasht, lo-kuazhe, cafe, udzh are at the same time complex, stately and beautiful. But for any Circassian dance is a show 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-faceted beauty, this is the path to the knowledge of the vast and substantial world of human feelings. Devoid of its emotional content, dance ceases to be art.

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