Performed mainly by “soldiers” before war is a Eurasian dance style known as Yarkhusta. This “ritualistic folk dance” is said to have originated from the Republic of Armenia. This dance form involves the use of energetic “clapping of the hands”. Furthermore, it is performed in a group mainly comprising of men. In addition, this dance is popular in the country especially in villages/towns such as Talin, Aparan, and Ashtarak, which comprises of a large “migrant” population belonging to the Sassoun district in Turkey. It is also the national dance of Armenia.
a. History/origin of the Yarkhusta:
According to literature written by Armenian historians such as Movses Khorenatsi and Faustus of Byzantium, this folk dance is said to have first originated during the beginning of the “Middle Ages”. Furthermore, it was basically created as a “war dance”, to be performed by the soldiers before the commencement of battle as a form of a ritual as well as to get rid of fear that could engulf a soldier’s mind before war.
b. Costumes used in the Yarkhusta:
The costumes used by the performers (mainly male) include a long sleeve shirt, an overcoat, a red cloth tied around the waist, a long trouser and a pair of black shoes.
c. Music involved in the Yarkhusta:
The musical instruments used in this dance include two zurna hornpipes, and one or more double headed bass drums. In addition, a mallet and a stick are also used in this dance style along with the drums.
d. Training availability and the technique involved in the Yarkhusta:
In terms of technique, this dance style is basically performed by males who form a group and face each other in pairs. Furthermore, in this dance the performers move forward and rapidly approach each other. In addition, two performers then clap the hands of the other pair located at the opposite end. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world since this “ritualistic” dance style is performed mainly in Armenia.