August 1, 2017 @ 9:40 PM

Here is some information about dances from my Volume 7 CD. 

Derek Votk-Tars Bar (rhythm 4/4 - 6/8) is originally from the Gareen region around its capitol Erzerum, southeast Anatolia.Yerek Votk means three steps. Tars means opposite because Tars Bar is led to the left. Bar in Armenian means circle dance. 

Geghami Shoorj Bar (rhythm 6/4 -2/4 -6/8) is from Yerevan, the capitol of Armenia. There are three parts: the first part is pinky hold, the second part is handhold, and the third part is shoulder hold. Gegham is the name of a man. Shoorj means circle. The dance honors Gegham, who used to lead the dance. It is traced back to the 1920’s. 

Echmiadzin (rhythm 6/8) Is from Erzerum. Echmiadzin is the center of the Armenian Christian religion accepted by Armenia as a nation in 301 A.D., the first nation to do so. It is pinky hold. The hands held above the head form the steeple of that very church in Echmiadzin. It is difficult to put a date on tracking this dance. Echmiadzin is located about 50 kilometers west of Yerevan. This dance is performed throughout the whole of Armenia like many others from the collection of Gagik Ginosyan, director of the Karin Dance Group of Armenia.

Lutki (rhythm 2/4) is in the family of dances of Loorke. It hails from the region of Daron, with major towns of Bitlis, Moosh, and Sasoon, central east Anatolia. It is handhold at shoulder height. It is a group dance. Lutki and Loorke come from the word Looreh, a bending motion.

Shatakhi (rhythm 9/8 - 2/4) is the name of a folk region along with Moks. Note: Armenians brought many of these dances in 1828 with Russian forces after the Persian/Russian War. They relocated into Caucasian Armenia where they built new villages. They will commemorate 200 years in 2028 with a one-week festival in the Talin region north of Yerevan. This is a line dance in the style of Tomzara with hand or pinky hold at shoulder height. 

Zurna-Nareh (rhythm 6/8) Is from northern Caucasian Armenia. In this particular dance the popular kerdze step is performed. In the basic step we do the dance called Ver Veri. Kerdze means scratch and uses the skip step. Ver Veri means up, up. The Ver Veri and Trngee, which means hop, are popular throughout Caucasian Armenia. It is handhold with a lot of arm swinging. 

Vana Dzaner Dzap Bar (rhythm 5/8 - 7/8) Is from Vaspurakan, town of Khorkum, east Lake Van. Movements depict the fish harvest. It is handhold shoulder height in a line. Vana Dzaner Dzap Bar means the heavy, clapping dance of Van. This dance was brought to the U.S. between 1910-1920 by Armenian immigrants to Detroit, MI.

Mairoke (rhythm 2/4) Is from Moosh/Sasoon in the Daron region, now the Talin region of north/central Armenia. Mairoke means the face of Mary probably in honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is hand or pinky hold in the bouncy, smooth style of Moosh/Sasoon Armenians.

Segherti Kochari (rhythm 2/4) Is in the family of dances of Kochari and Loorke. Koch comes from the Persian word ghooch, which means goat (in Armenian aits), tracing the movements of the goat gait. The dancers are shoulder to shoulder and move in unison matching each other’s dips and bounces. There is no other way to perform this dance other than matching the same degree of movement. Hands are grasped at side with the armpits closed. It is more comfortable if you are dancing with people of your height on each side of you.