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Aghcheekneroo Par

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BACKGROUND

Information: A dance.

Aghcheekneroo Par is in the Caucasus Mountain tradition, and resembles the well-known Georgian dances. It is of the "women's work" dance genre, taking its movements from women's daily chores, in this case, spinning flax; the spinning wheel and related movements are obvious.

Translation: "Aghcheek" means "girl"; "Par" means "dance"; thus: "Girls' Dance."

Pronunciation: ahg-CHEEK-neh-rooh PAR

Region: Yerevan, Armenia.

Source: This is an urban folk dance from Yerevan, capital of Armenia, and was taught by Tom Bozigian.

Meter and Rhythm: 6/8; accents on counts 1 and 5 give the dance its languid quality.

Formation: Traditionally a closed circle; performed in open circle to permit audience to see. L hand is at R waist of W on L; R arm is used for gestures.

Structure: Choreography is divided into two parts, A and B; sequence: AABA

Steps and Style: The dance is performed with a trance-like elegance with a quiet, languid dignity. Knees are "soft; movements are unhurried, graceful and strong. The arms are a major part of the dance, with the hands always in the "stag's head" position.

Note: Notations of arm movements are in italics.

Description: Richard Duree.


BARS ACTION

  Introduction.
1-3 W move toward beginning position, arms down.
4 Raise R arm fwd high and place L hand on L W waist.
 
  PART A
1.   "Walking to the Fields" Gliding Walk and Dip
1 Step fwd on R ft (c 1); flex L knee fwd (c 4); step fwd on L ft (c 5).
2 Step fwd on R ft with flexed knees (c 1); step LR in place with knees straight (c 4,5).
3 Rpt mvt of Meas 1 on opp ftwk.
4 Rpt mvt of Meas 2 on opp ftwk, except step RLR in place (c 4,5,6)
 
2.   Crossing Step and Backward Walk
1 Step on L ft in front of R ft with knees flexed (c 1); step to R on R ft with knees straight (c 3); rpt mvt of Cts 1 and 3 (c 5,6).
  Arms: hand moves in CW circle, down on crossing step and up on open step.
2 Rpt mvt of Meas 1, except on Ct 6, pivot 1/4 turn L on L ft, place R ft beside L ankle and place L hand on L waist of W ahead; W are now in single-file line with arms fwd high.
3 On half-toe, walk bkwd RLRLRL with tiny steps!
4 Step small step bkwd on R ft, L leg extended fwd low and raise R arm high (c 1); shift wt fwd on L ft and return to fwd high position.
 
3.   CCW Circle
1 Move in quarter-circle CCW: Step fwd on R ft (c 1); step fwd LR (c 3,4); step fwd on L ft with flexed knee (c 5); straighten L knee (c 6).
  Arms: Hands are held "facing each other" about hip-high, palms down. Shoulders shift to side of stepping foot - R-LR : slow-quick-quick (c 1, 3,4); turn hands palm up (c 5); rotate inward to original position (c 6).
2 Rpt mvt of Meas 1, completing another 1/4 circle; finish in single-file line.
3 Rpt mvt of Meas 1, completing another 1/4 circle; finish in shoulder-to-shoulder line.
4 Rpt mvt of Meas 1, moving fwd twd ctr of circle; on Ct 5-6, step fwd on L ft with knees flexed, turning body slightly R and move hands to sides, hip high.
 
4.   Arm Raises
1 Step slightly bkwd on R ft with straight knees and lift body (c 1,2); step in place LRL, turning to L (c 3,4,5); step fwd on R ft with knees flexed, facing slightly L (c 6).
  Arms: Raise L hand upward past R cheek to level of forehead, WRIST FLEXED AND FINGERS HORIZONAL, move R hand behind R hip and extend R arm downward. (c 1,2); rotate forearm at elbow to turn hand and "float" away from body to L high (c 3,4,5); return both hands to position at side of hips (c 6).
2 Rpt mvt of Meas 1 on opp ftwk and arm gestures.
3-4 Rpt mvt of Meas 1,2.
  NOTE: At end of each completion of Part A, body must be positioned for next figure:
  First: prepare to repeat Part A from beginning;
  Second: prepare to begin Part B.
  Third: Meas 4 of Figure 4 is the ending pose: step bkwd on L ft with knees flexed (c 1); sweep R leg and arm to R to finish with R ft pointed and R arm R side high.
 
  PART B
1.   Soutenu Turn / Kneel / Spinning Wheel
1 Touch ball of R ft in front of L ft (c 1); lift and turn full turn CCW on balls of ft (c 2-6).
  Arms: Drop hands to side low, palms fwd (c 1); sweep hands fwd and inward to body and cross wrists chest high, palms facing body, L arm outside (c 2-4); rotate wrists to turn palms away from body (c 5).
2 Kneel on R knee, L knee fwd (c 1-3); hold (c 4-6)
  Arms: Lift and flex wrists (c 4); extend L arm to L and place R hand in front of throat (c 5).
3 Sweep arms downward in half-circle to R (c 1-3); reverse mvt of Meas 1-3 to return arms to orig pos (c 4-6).
4 Sweep arms in full CCW circle (c 1-3); sweep arms to R in half-circle (c 4-6).
5-6 Rpt mvt of Meas 3,4 in reverse direction: arms finish to L side.
7 With elbows fwd low, rotate forearms around each other horizontally once, palms down, L arm beginning and ending away from body (c 1-3); raise R arm from inside L arm to vertical position, palm fwd, R elbow near L hand (c 5).
8 Rpt mvt of Meas 7, beginning with R hand outside and lifting L arm on Ct 5).
9-10 Rpt mvt of Meas 7,8; finish with L forearm vertical, R forearm horizonal.
 
2.   Pulling Thread / Side-Cross Step
1 Rise on L leg and keep R ft bkwd for balance (c 1-3); hold (c 4-6).
  Arms: Raise R arm fwd high and lower L arm fwd low with elbows straight; lead with wrists (c 1-3); reverse arm positions - raise L arm and lower R arm (c 4-6).
2 Reverse arm positions quickly 3 times (c 1-3); reverse arm position once slowly (c 3-4)
  NOTE: Meas 1,2 is performed in slow-slow-quick_quick_quick-slow sequence.
3-4 Rpt mvt of Meas 1,2 in reverse - begin raising L arm and lowering R arm. Finish with L arm raised and R arm lowered.
5 Step R on R ft, knees straight and circle R arm CW to fwd high position (c 1-4); step on L ft in front of R ft, knees flexed slightly and sweep arms down in CW circle (c 5,6).
6-8 Rpt mvt of Meas 5 four more times, sweeping arms in CW circle each meas.
  NOTE: Part A follows completion of Meas 8. Leave L arm side low to join L W waist and circle R arm in CW circle to begin Meas 1 of Part A.

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