By Laman Ismayilova
An international culture festival in Basel, Switzerland, has featured Azerbaijani folk dances.
The event brought together representatives of 15 countries, whose national dances were presented during the festival, Azertac reported.
The history of folk dances of Azerbaijan is very old. The scenes of dances reflected on Gobustan rock pictures are proof of that. Like in many nations of the world Azerbaijanis also had as first dances the ritual and hunting dances.
Most spread folk dances are Kocheri, Yalli, Jangi, Anzali, Naznazi, Chigatayi and etc.
Kocheri is a kind of ancient Azerbaijani dance “Yalli”, which is depicted on the rock carvings in Gobustan dating to 10,000-8,000 years BC.
The famous “Divani luget” dictionary of the 11th century by eminent Turkish philologist Mahmud Kashgari, includes the word “kocheri”, meaning “koch-goch” (male ram), and the word “kochmek”, meaning "to move from one place to another".
The initial form of Yalli, performed around a ceremony bonfire, have the meaning of hot, light and meal. The word “yal” in Azerbaijani means row, line of chain.
Today, Yalli is performed as cheerful circular dance, often accompanied by choral singing at the weddings. Dancers hold hands or shoulders with each other and perform synchronous rhythmic motion, raising and lowering their arms.
Yalli is performed under different rhythms, and have a number of kinds including kochari, uchayag, tello, tenzere and galadangalaya.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and the Swiss Confederation.
Azerbaijan, which is Switzerland’s most important trading partner in the South Caucasus, enjoys good ties, since the federal republic in Europe cooperates with the country for over 20 years.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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