By Laman Ismayilova
Euronews has highlighted Azerbaijan's folk dances. The news report notes that Azerbaijan's traditional dance lies at the heart of the Azerbaijani culture, combining national music, choreography, and storytelling.
Azerbaijani folk dances are rooted in ancient heritage and history and vary hugely in style, from the beautifully intricate to the impressively athletic.
Founded in 1938, the Azerbaijan State Dance Ensemble has performed around the world.
When it comes to the costumes, hair, and make-up, no detail is forgotten.
The dance director must compile a diverse and exciting program that shows not only the dance art but also the beauty of costumes.
Speaking with Euronews, dance teacher at the Azerbaijan State Dance Ensemble Saina Ahmadova provided insight into some details of the traditional dances.
"Some difficult dance elements are typical for the Azerbaijani female dances, namely chest movements, accentuating the eyes, as well as a combination of both," said Ahmadova.
"The glasses filled with syrup are balanced on the palms, and dancers have to make sure it does not spill while they dance," she added.
Rufat Khalilzade, known as the ensemble's artistic director, said that the dance is challenging for the men as well.
"Azerbaijani male dances depict an eagle spreading its wings on the top of the mountain, and getting ready to fly. See some of the dance elements the dancer performs on his toes, and those are truly difficult to perform. In general, men’s dances are a true competition, it is like they are saying: I will jump higher than you, perform the most difficult element even faster. This competition is in itself the symbol of braveness and manliness, and this is what the dance is portraying," he added.
Notably, various kinds of dances have started to form in Azerbaijan since the Middle Ages.
As a rule, the Azerbaijani dance is divided into the three parts: the first part is a circle, the dancer holds the body high, the second –congealing on the spot (suzme) and the third – again the circling. The third part is characterized by rhythm, and strong emotions.
Many dances, especially the old ones, are called the most beloved animals or plants. These include: "gazelle", "lale" (field poppy), "benevshe" (violet), etc.
They are very smooth and lively. The musical size of Azerbaijani dances is 6/8 and 3/4.
The dances of male and female sharply differ from each other.
Women's dances are characterized by soft lyricism and plasticity of graceful smooth movement.
Long skirt defines the tender movement of feet. The dance is focused entirely on used technique of upper parts of the arm and corpse (shoulder, head, mimics of face etc).
The main feature of male dance is the technique of feet. The dancer stands quickly on the tiptoe, and then quickly falls on his knee, etc.
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