The nature 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 the world, a sense of the substance of being. Dance in this case is a kind of link connecting a person with nature and God (gives rise to magical powers in himself).

Ancient dances of Karachay-Cherkessia are closely related to song, music, drama, prayer, props. The ancient national dance always carries a multifunctional specificity: each generation has left its own characteristics in it. Moreover, the ancient dance was noticeably transformed: some of the elements disappeared, enriching with new content. This proves the variety of dance options. The traditional art of dance has significant typical features and patterns that play an important role. One of these features is the presence of an internal dance rhythm, which is the basis that organizes 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As noted above, folk dance is periodically transformed, outdated elements disappear in it and new, viable, with new content appear, which give the traditional movements a qualitatively different meaning.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 dances. So, for example, the dance "Suzyulup" is like flowing water, as it is performed very smoothly, the dance "Atyp" is swift, as if "shooting", and "Typyrdap" is "twitching".

State Ensemble of Karachay-Cherkessia "Elbrus" at its recital. Photo:
State Ensemble of Karachay-Cherkessia "Elbrus" at its recital. Photo:

One of the most famous is the Ashtotura dance. The performers of this ritual song - dances - lined up in one line and raised their hands up, then, at the command of the elder, they dropped to one knee, tilting their heads down - to the god of the earth Teiri. Then the dancers leaned to the right, left, back and forth, walked to the Ashtotur stone, and finally stood on their toes. The senior hunter commanded "Ashtotur!" and everyone came back. In some variants of the dance, the Ashtotura stone is "performed" by a man, he sits on his knees, bending his body forward, and the rest dance around him.

Other folk dances of Karachay-Cherkessia, which should be noted as the most famous and significant, are the werewolf dance “Obur”, circular dance “Tegerek tepseu”, ritual dance “Khychauman”, dance of the archer “Zhiya”, dance with felt whip “Kamchi”, dance with a ring "Zhuzyuk oyun", dance of Eryuzmek with demons "Eryuzmek bla shaitanla", dance of the harvest "Gollu" and winter dance "Bashilayy".

An integral part of the folk holidays of Karachay-Cherkessia are ritual dances, the history of which goes back to ancient times and which are associated with the life of the people. The ritual dance has always been the basis of the dance function, the main idea of ​​the rite is concentrated in it. Without a dance, the ceremony will be incomplete. The content and specificity of such dances is multifunctional. For example: in the "Hardara" ritual, the dance is dedicated to plowing, in "Apsaty" and "Ashtotur" - hunting, and in "Kurek beach" - making 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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