Music and Dance

Georgia Table of Contents

Georgia is known for its rich and unique folk dance and music. The Georgian State Dance Company, founded in the 1940s, has traveled around the world performing spectacular renditions of traditional Georgian dances. Unique in folk-dancing tradition, Georgian male performers dance on their toes without the help of special blocked shoes. Georgian folk music, featuring complex, three-part, polyphonic harmonies, has long been a subject of special interest among musicologists. Men and women sing in separate ensembles with entirely different repertoires. Most Georgian folk songs are peculiar to individual regions of Georgia. The inspiration is most often the church, work in the fields, or special occasions. The Rustavi Choir, formed in 1968, is the best known Georgian group performing a traditional repertoire.

In modern Georgia, folk songs are most frequently sung around the table. The ceremonial dinner (supra), a frequent occurrence in Georgian homes, is a highly ritualized event that itself forms a direct link to Georgia's past. On such occasions, rounds of standardized and improvised toasts typically extend long into the night. Georgian cuisine, which includes a variety of delicate sauces and sharp spices, is also an important part of the culture that links the generations. In the Soviet period, the best restaurants in the large cities of other republics were often Georgian.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress