The Armenian dance (Armenian: Հայկական պար) heritage has been considered one of the oldest and most varied in its respective region. From the fifth to the third millennia B.C., in the higher regions of Armenia, the land of Ararat, there are rock paintings of scenes of country dancing. These dances were probably accompanied by certain kinds of songs or musical instruments. In the fifth century Moses of Khoren (Movsés Khorenats’i) himself had heard of how the old descendants of Aram (that is Armenians) make mention of these things (epic tales) in the ballads for the lyre and their songs and dances.
Traditional dancing is still popular among expatriate Armenians, and has also been very successfully `exported’ to international folk dance groups and circle dance groups all over the world. All dancers wear the traditional costume to embody the history of their culture and tell their ancestors stories. The design of these costumes are influenced by many factors, such as religious traditions, family methods, and practicality. The traditional coloring and exquisite beading of the costumes ties the dance and the tradition together. The beautiful movements of the Armenian cultural dance are adored by all audience around the world.
The origin of religious dancing is ancient, an expression of the inner feelings of those who participated in such performances. It is of interest to note that dance never occurred alone, but was always accompanied with song, clapping of hands, and musical instruments. As with music, so too the dance expressed a person’s internal spiritual emotions and personal disposition.
During the 1920s and 30s, three Armenian dance teachers moved to Iran from the Soviet Union and opened dance schools. Their names were Madame Yelena, Madame Coronelli, and Sarkis Djanbazian. They taught ballet and character dance. Most of their students were members of the Armenian community in Tehran, but their classes were also attended by students from diverse backgrounds including Muslims, Jews, Baha’is and Zoroastrians.
After the establishment of Soviet order in Armenia, the state takes the Armenian dance education into account. Based dance studios, which will contribute to the creation of national folk dance dance separable.
At present Armenian national dance is divided into two groups: ethnography and folk.
Folk dance is essentially different from ethnographic. The school was born in the Soviet mold “choreographic” and, guided by the classical ballet dance and representatives from national sources.
As for ethnography, the latter is based on the purpose of giving the nation a general overview. The word ethnography, in itself, describes a science that examines the material and spiritual culture of the peoples, hence its customs, movements, national peculiarities and their historical-cultural connections.
Folk dance, interweaving the environment rituals, tonakatarutyunneri, with beliefs and cults, creates a world of emotion and psychology of people describing a culture that is in the dance.
Dances of Hamshen Armenians
The word “dance” is used in the dialect of Hamshen Armenians with the word “bar”. The Hamshens danced to New Year, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Barekendan, Easter, and Mereloc, which was not a mourning, but a celebration of their ancestors when going on pilgrimage and sacrificing. Most of them danced in the days of Barekendan. The wedding was the wedding day for “Barkendon”. Weddings, Barekendan’s celebrated days, Easter mainly dance dance performed. All men are called “glare”. And in other holidays they dance in a mixed composition (both men and women). Barnesendan and weddings only dance a “round bar”.
Recorded dances can be classified only by sex and age of performers, men or “roll bars”, dance dances, dance dances.
There have been regular dances, binding laws of place and time. These laws are the attributes set out in the ancient past that testify to the preservation of the ritual essence of dance. Believing that changing or breaking any performance tone in sacred dances (especially in rhythm) could have been devastating for the ritual participants. It is thanks to this belief that a number of ritual dances have survived to our day.
The Hamshen Armenians danced with the Dhol-Zurna, used the Big Bean, medium and small zurna. Dhol broke into the ground. Other musical instruments have been used by camomiles, chestnuts, money, shepherd swings, and spheres. Some dances also accompanied singing.
Armenian dance can be classified according to several characteristics
According to the nature of the execution,
Dancing, dancing, accompanied by songs,
Dances that are accompanied by musical instruments,
Dances that are accompanied and accompanied by musical instruments and songs.
According to the way of catching hands,
From the waist
According to the content,
on the road
Kochari (Քոչարի) – Kochari is one of the most popular dances of Armenians. Kochari is danced in a group of men and women and is known for its tune played on the zurna.
Shalakho (Շալախօ) – A dance for men from Ancient Armenia. It is performed in dance studios by men, but danced at public gatherings by women as well.
Yarkhushta (Յարխուշտա) – Yarkhushta is a martial dance from the Taron and Aghdznik regions of Western Armenia.
Berd (Բերդապար) – Berd is a dance famous for having a circle of men stand on the shoulders of another circle and rotate. Berd means “fortress” in Armenian and is named accordingly because of the shape the dancers make.
Harsnapar (Հարսնապար) – Harsnapar comes from the Armenian hars which means bride, and par which translates to dance. The bride is shown dancing a solo and may possibly feature the bridesmaids.
Gyond (Գյոնդ or Գյովնդ)
Menapar (Մենապար) – Menapar translates to “solo.” It may feature a man or woman. Normally, if a man is the one dancing, the music will be fast-paced and in the case of a woman, a slower, more elegant music will play.
Zuykpar (Զույգապար) – Zuykpar is a duet done by a man and woman. It features a liveliness to it and normally includes both dancers doing symmetrical movements.
Msho Khr (Մշոյ խըռ) – Originated in the region of Մուշ (Moush).
Karno kochari (Կարնոյ քոչարի) – Very similar to Kochari, originated in region of Կարին (Karin).
Ishkhanats par (Իշխանաց պար) – Also known as the “Lords’ dance”.
Kajats khagh (Քաջաց խաղ)
Tamour agha (Թամուր աղա)
Asdvadzatsna (Աստուածածնայ պար)
Tars par (Թարս պար)
Yerek votk (Երեք ոտք)
Khnamineri par (Խնամիների պար)
Khosh bilazig (Խոշ բիլազիգ)
Arabkir (Արաբկիրի Պար) – A dance from the Armenian city of Arabkir.
Kesabian (Քեսապական) – The Kesabian dance came from the city of Kesab, Syria.
Laz bar – originated among the fishermen of the Black Sea
Moosh (or Muş, or Mus, Մշո Պար) – is a mixed dance from the district of Moush/Taron, west of Lake Van.
Sasnapar (Սասնապար) – Sasnapar is a more popular dance common at weddings and other cultural gatherings. It originated in the city of Sasun.
Vagharshapatian (Վաղարշապատյան)- The Vagharshapatian originated in Vagharshapat now known as Ejmiatsin.
Zeytouni (Զեյթունի պար) – Zeytouni originated in Zeytun.
Varaka Lerneri Bar
Source from Wikipedia