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Folk music and dance – Georgian intangible cultural heritage

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We love to be proud of our long history, which first appears in written history in the 12th century BC and our diverse and wealthy culture. There is one thing we are proud of very much – our folklore and our traditional dance. If you want to look into the soul of Georgia and its people, you need to listen to a Georgian folk music and enjoy watching Georgian dance at least once in your life.

Georgian traditional dance

You might be surprised finding out that such a little nation as Georgia has over 15 types of folk dance. Each of them is unique and tells the different stories. While one might tell you a story of a flirting couple, another might represent a battlefield.

The most romantic dance is Kartuli, which is usually performed on the wedding by the bride and her partner. They usually attend special classes to learn how to dance before the big day. This is a tradition, which even foreign partners marring a Georgian woman/man are trying to uphold. A man shows his love and affection towards the woman in this very beautiful dance. He keeps his eyes on the woman during whole dance like there is no other woman on the whole planet, while still maintaining a certain distance and not touching her during the dance. His every manner shows great love and respect for the woman, while a lady, being shy, never raises her eyes.

Khorumi is a very distinctive dance, which brings you to the battlefield. It shows the courage and strength of Georgian soldiers, who have saved Georgia for centuries from dozens of different enemies. It can be performed by few people to even forty men. When you watch this dance, you feel some enormous power and how your blood moves faster in your veins.

Kazbeguri is also a dance that demonstrates the toughness and endorsement of a man living in mountains. However, in my opinion, the most instance dance that represents Georgian spirit the best is Khevsuruli. The dance begins with a flirting couple when suddenly other men appear and start fighting for the woman. It is about the competition between two men and their supporters. They attack each other with real swords and shields. This dance is breathtaking to watch and extremely hard to perform.

Acharuli and Partsa characterized with colorful costumes and playful mood between women and men. They create a festive mood. I think that Georgian folk dance is something that everybody should see at least once in their life.

Folk music – a sound of heaven

Georgian folklore is over 1,500 years old. According to Greek historian, Georgian tribes even went to war singing and dancing. Usually, men in three voices perform Georgian folk music as it flows in perfect harmony. Most of Georgians can sing because our language itself is very musical.

One very interesting thing is that in 1997 one of the Georgian polyphonic songs “Chakrulo” was sent to space with a golden disc with other 25 best melodies from all around the world. It is also included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage.

If you were lucky enough to dine or celebrate something with Georgians, you will probably have a chance to hear Georgian folklore between toasts. I will not talk much about it, as it is better to hear Georgian music and judge it by yourself.

Sukhishvili Dance Academy
Sukhishvili Dance Academy
Tbilisi, Georgia

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The author

Anano Chikhradze

Anano Chikhradze

I am Anano. I Iove travelling, history and getting to know people from all over the world. I write about Georgia, my country, and I am sure everybody will fall in love with it.

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