A Georgian Dance
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A Georgian Dance


ცეკვა ქართული

18
A Georgian Dance

The instruments sound, and the story begins...

It is a familiar one in Georgian folklore, of a virtuous man who sets out to pursue the object of his affection. He takes strong, proud, determined steps towards her, then invites her dance.

She accepts his invitation, but leads her own way, leaving him to chase behind her. She emerges onto her path, confident and graceful all at once. Her movement is delicate and gentle, making her appear as though she is floating across the stage.

He traces her steps, but is careful not to be too imposing, not to get too close. He is as respectful of her as her presence demands. His eyes are fixed entirely on her, as though she were the only woman in the world, as though she were a mystery he must solve. His eyes travel over her possessively...

But she does not give herself away so lightly. She invents her own narrative, hovering away from him, playfully dancing to the melody of her unattainability.

He does not give up, he dances towards her once again, this time with even more strength in his step. She watches from a distance, with just a faintly perceptible smile, then gives him another chance. He follows her lead once again, and their ballad continues...

All is spoken but with their enchanting gazes. Never once, do they touch. With just one glance, she can register approval. With just one gaze, he can relay the most intimate message. Touch becomes unnecessary. Words cease to exist…

The melody changes, and she begins her solo. She masters a grace that is inimitable, mesmerizing her pursuer with gentle strokes against air, that both draw him closer and push him farther… Her eyes shine with wisdom as she makes it all look so beautiful, this elegant courtship — within which, she embodies the majesty of women.

He applauds as he watches, celebrating her independence and womanhood. He searches her eyes with insurmountable curiosity, trying to hold on to the fleeting beauty within them.

At the conclusion of her dance, they reunite once again, continuing along the ebb and flows of their tale. The music gets louder, the pace faster, and finally, both overtaken by the same irresistible charms of love, they dance in harmony —becoming one heart, one breath, one whole.

Such is Georgian courtship. Remarkably, while each Georgian dance is named after the region that it emanated from (Acharuli, Osuri, Khevsuruli, etc...), this one is named simply, Kartuli. It carries the name of the entire nation, the whole country, it is the epitome of all that is Georgian. And each time it makes its way onto the dance-floor, it carries this name proudly, like a beautifully waving flag.

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