Kyrgyz Dance

Traditional KYRGYZ Dance

Kyrgyz folk dancing is delightful dance with colorfully dressed dancers spinning in circles, flowing with eager grace and is the embodiment of a twisting wind on the Central Asian meadows.

Kyrgyz Folk Dance

In the development of Kyrgyz folk dance, the primary role was played by the Kyrgyz Musical Theater. Therefore in the Kyrgyz dance, you can see the concept of theatrical performances. Furthermore, Kyrgyz dances demonstrate the characteristics of Kyrgyz life with natural features and the traditional decoration of dwellings, etc. 

The labor process of producing the felt become the basis of one of the first Kyrgyz dances named “Kiyiz”. The Kiyiz performance starts with the dancers running out onto the stage with light steps, picking up imaginary hairballs from the ground and beginning to trample, pouring “water”, and tamping the hairballs with sticks. And when the “carpet” is ready, the girls show their work to the audience and sit themselves settled down on them in picturesque poses. The common characteristic moves, postures, positions of hands and head of felt and carpet production are also used during the dance.

Traditional Kyrgyz folk dance
Dance performance in Kyrgyz wedding

It is surprising how much the art of creating traditional crafts can have given so many movements to a dance, for example walking from the heel, stepping, waving the arms upward with a sharp drop of the hand downward, as if kneading the felt, turns, hands bent in front of oneself. The pattern of the dance, the nature of the performance, the entire dance composition was prompted by the talent of folk craftsmen – the creators of tush kiyiz, in which ornamental artistic images are concrete and close to nature.

Kara Jorgo dance

Remarkably catchy, even if you don’t understand the Kyrgyz language at all — the lyrics of Kara Jorgo call for guys and girls to get up and dance. Once nearly lost in the sands of time, but recently revived due to the renaissance of traditional Kyrgyz culture, Kara Jorgo, or the “Black Stallion” has become extremely popular in Kyrgyzstan and no wedding passes without this dance

According to Kyrgyz ethnographers, this dance was born somewhere between the 11th and 12th centuries. Kara Jorgo dance got attention after 1916 when thousands of Kyrgyz families fled to China from the Russian invasaion. Kara Jorgo dance has also been submitted to the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and it is the most well know Kyrgyz dance.

Learn more about Kyrgyz Culture

Where and when to see Kyrgyz dance

Page updated 13.2.2022

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