Kochari comes from the Persian word GHOOCH, which is a type of goat. In Armenian the word is AEETS. There are a variety of Kocharis and the movements can be traced to the movements of that animal, its gait, its jumps, etc. Over the centuries, the HOVIV (shepherd) has mimicked this animal since a large part of the day he is connected with his herd. There are different styles of Kochari depending on the region. Plains areas find the Kochari to have smaller movements, more foot play; we call that VOTKEE KHAGH. Mountainous areas find the Kochari to have larger steps involving more jumps, larger leaps. Alashgerd Kochari movements are larger than Moosh movements (MSHOO KHRR). Each region finds different syncopations. Enjoy your next Kochar!
Look for further discussion on Armenian traditional dance in future blogs.