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Travel Blog


Armenian folk dance has a long historical background which dates back to the pagan times, when dances were performed with the form of theatrical dance performances reflecting the life of ancestors, gods and heroes. During the time the dances have gone through changes due to people’s lifestyle change. At different periods dance reflected not only Armenians’ lifestyle, but also the national characteristic, spirit and habits. The moves not used for a long time were cleaned from the dances, new moves were added but the core ones were kept. 

Before being performed at any time and anywhere, Armenian dances once were determined for specific events and places. Dances dedicated to the church holidays and funeral ones were performed outdoors. Wedding ceremonies either had specific dances which were danced on the way to the church. Like many other nations in the world, Armenians also have war dances that were a huge motivation before the battle. 

A very special role have Armenian dance music and instruments that add a big portion of spirit in dancing process. If you have ever heard Armenian traditional dance music accompanied with traditional instruments, then you can imagine how inspiring they are and how much energy they transfer. 

National dress is another significant attribute in dancing culture. Each region of Armenia (including those of Western Armenia, nowadays Turkey) has own dance dress with a unique color combination. If you are somehow interested in dancing culture, then you can differentiate dresses by their colors and ornaments, and even guess to what region they belong.


Choose A Dance Closer To You

There is definitely no lack of dances in Armenia. Kochari, Yarkhushta, Papuri, Govnd, Ver-veri, Etchmiadzni, Tsakhkadzori and many others are popular among people nowadays too. Armenian dance Kochari can be separated as the most danced one. The origin of the name is not certain, but there is an explanation that it is related to the worship of ram. Jumping moves are specific to this dance.

Yarkhushta is another interesting martial game-dance. This is danced by men facing each other in pairs and is differentiated with the presence of claps in the dance. Yarkhushta was mostly spread in Sasun (Western Armenia, nowadays Turkey). There are many explanations about the origin of its name, but the accepted one means “a comrade-in-arms”. As the dance is martial one and aimed to inspire soldiers before the battle, its music is played loudly, which definitely increases adrenaline.

Govnd is another old community dance which means “group”, “pile” of people. The moves in this dance are from one side to another, and it differs from other dances by the form of hand holding and tempo.

Ver-veri as a dance can be met in all the regions. These kind of dances (ver-ver) are made of two and more parts. This dance is joyful one and means “seek upwards”, “raise”. In many types of ver-ver dances dancers don’t hold hands, but hold each other’s’ shoulders. 

The dance Tsakhkadzori is related to the gods of fertility, to the growth of fauna and flora, and nature in general. The high jumps in this dance symbolize the desire of people to please the gods for having a good harvest. 

Another interesting dance is called “Berd”, meaning “fortress” and being performed by the men. It was originated from Vaspurakan (province in the Kingdom of Armenia, now in Turkey), and used to be danced before and after the wars. The main part of this dance is when the dancers form two-storey building (like a fortress) standing on each other’s shoulders. 

Despite of having long history of dancing cultures, folk dances were not that much spread among the people to dance in different events. During the recent years thanks to the huge endeavors of some cultural activists these dances have been revived and now they really enjoy popularity among youth especially. Many open-air festivals of folk dances are organized where Armenian folk dancers teach people the moves, and where you can meet not only citizens dancing but also tourists. It seems they visit Armenia every summer for attending the festivals and enjoying evenings full of Armenian folk music and dances. 

The role of folk dances is so much increased in Armenia that they are performed in various events, concerts, and even in the Army by the soldiers. This is a real revival of folk dance culture, and the most pleasing fact for the organizers is the huge interest and participation of young people, who accept, love and try to keep this piece of culture.  
If you are planning to start your classes of Armenian folk dances in Yerevan streets and seek new emotions, do not hesitate a minute to contact Caucasus Holidays to enjoy unique evenings full of joy and smiles all around.