Margarit
(Armenia)

[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Formation Circle. No hold.
Dance Structure ( (A x 2) + (B1 + B2) + (C x 2) + (D x 2) + (E1 + E2) ) x 1.9 + ( F + G + H + G ) + I + ( (C x 2) + (D x 2) + ( (J + K) x 2 ) + A).
Music Structure 4 counts/bar. 2 bars/phrase.
Music Speed 56 counts/min.
Choreographer Pajlak Sarkisian.
Source Pajlak Sarkisian in his dance course in Yerevan, Armenia 2006 (organised by Tineke van Geel).

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught by Pajlak Sarkisian.

A delicate Armenian women's dance with emphasis on the arm movements. Originally choreographed for professional performance use, it was adapted (simplified) for us participant folk dance hobbyists by the choreographer.

This dance is far more complicated (many parts, lots of arm work, complex non-repeating structure & much subtle styling detail) than dances I usually lead or teach (& it was the most difficult one so far to write up!). I liked it when I learnt it but thought it to difficult & time-consuming to teach back in the UK. Instead I taught on 'Ovivi Erk' which I learnt on the same course and has similar styling but far few parts. However, in the 2012 Eastbourne International Folk Dance Festival, Dalila Heath (who specialises in teaching Armenian dance in the UK & had learnt this dance likewise from the choreographer but at a different time) taught it. I was not in that class but I met a friend coming out of it very enthusiastically. She told me that I ought to have been there because I could have learnt it and so could have been able it on at the following Youlgrave dance holiday which we were both going to. Dalila overheard & called out "Andrew already knows it!", which was a bit of an exaggeration as it was 6 since I had learnt it properly, so I was basically dropped in with the job of teaching it. Working out how to teach it relatively quickly (it had taken over an hour spread over several sessions when I was taught it thoroughly) to a group of mixed Balkan/International & Sacred/Circle dancers was difficult and it took 20 min to teach (without much on the styling detail) despite pushing them quite hard and mixing teaching some bits with walkthroughs first & some with following first as fitted each but somehow worked & was well received. I don't know if I will being doing it ever again though because of the time required & I lead casual dances for fun not serious classes where people expect to have to remember the steps afterwards. At least one aspect is easy though: the footwork contains nothing any more complex than a Grapevine (probably because the stage performance costumes would have been floor-length dresses).

There are slightly different versions of this dance in circulation. This is because the adaptation to for social dancing was a work in progress and the choreographer continued to adapt for successive groups of visiting dancers. I think the session I learnt it might have been the first version of the social dance adaptation. There is the question of whether I should write up this version, which I know best & have learnt directly from the choreographer, or a later version, as that may be more stable. However after seeing (via Dalila Heath) the version taught in 2007, I preferred the one I learnt because the subsequent simplifications (mainly making the sequence of parts a bit more regular) made it not fit the music quite as well.

The following notes, despite being verbose in arm movement descriptions, do not fully describe the detailed styling of the arm movements because arms & hands are capable of many more different motions than legs are.

All parts are 2 bars (in my, probably non-standard, way of counting it) long except Part I, which is a 1 bar filler, and the intro. All parts start with the R foot moving. All steps are one count each except for where I've summarised them as 'quick' (half a count) or 'slow' (2 counts). There is no need to count 1.9 times the first main sequence: the music clearly changes signalling the transition; the transition is simply skipping the final Part E1 & going straight into the simple Part F.

Style: Very graceful. Quiet, gentle, flowing, upright. The default hand shape is a relaxed curve but with the middle finger slightly more flexed than the other fingers.

Introduction

Summary: Wait 2 bars. As Part A bar 2 x 2 but smaller steps & raising arms to T.

Start Facing the centre of circle. Arms vertically down.
1-2 Pause.
3-4
Arms Slowly raise arms with straight elbows out to the sides ending with them horizontal.
Hands Flap hands the same as in Part A bar 2 (but twice through).
Feet Sidestep as in Part A bar 2 (but twice through) but smaller steps.

Part A

Summary: (Arms cw vertical circle infront while quick Grapevine (starting R side, L across behind) ) x 2. (Arms out in T with hand flap (down & brisk up) x 2 while (R side, L close)) x 2.

Start Facing the centre of circle. Arms in T.
1
1-2&
Feet
1 R to the side.
& L across behind.
2 R to the side.
& L across in front. (Together with the 3 preceding steps, this comprises a Grapevine.)
Arms With palms facing forwards & hands vertical, move hands in tandem about shoulder width apart in vertical cw circles in a plane parallel to the coronal plane of the body about 40 cm infront of the body. The circles are about 40 cm in diameter, start on the L side (going up, R, down, L, up) & go. round once.
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& (Grapevine with arms circling).
2
1
Feet R to the side in a small low flat step.
Hands With arms horizontally out to the sides, hands flat & palms facing down, gently flap hands down to about 45 deg down.
&
Feet Pause.
Hands Staccato flap hands up to about 45 deg up.
2-2& Repeat counts 1-1& but with L close instead of R to the side.
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& (R side with hands flap, L close with hands flap).

Part B1

Summary: Raise R arm infront whilst in 8 quick steps. (Dough pulling (both ways) with palms down while in quick (R behind, L in place) x 2 ) x 2.

Start Facing the centre of circle. Arms vertically down.
1
Arms Raise with straight elbows to horizontally straight infront with palms down.
Feet
1 R forwards small quick step on ball of foot.
& L forwards likewise.
2-4& Repeat counts 1-1& thrice more (making 8 steps in total travelling in).
2
1-1&
Arms L arm up with an elbow then wrist lead with the hand trailing down whilst R arm goes down likewise with the hand trailing up. (This is like a "dough pulling" move but with both hands palm down rather than the one going down being palm up.)
Head Look up L towards the raising hand.
Torso Lean R.
Feet
1 R slightly behind.
& L in place.
2-2& As counts 1-1& but with mirrored arms, head & torso movements ((R arm up, L arm down, look up R & lean torso L) whilst (R behind, L in place)).
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& (L arm up & right down then vice versa whilst (R behind, L in place) x 2.)

Part B2

Summary: B1 but travelling out lowering arms.

As Part B1 but travelling out backwards in bar 1 & lowering arms.

Part C

Summary: Raising arms to T whilst 8 quick steps forwards acw around the circle. (L forearm circle cw whilst quick (R across infront, L in place, R behind, L in place)) x 2.

Start Facing acw around the circle. Arms vertically down.
1
Arms Raise with elbow-lead curving to horizontally straight out to the sides with palms down.
Feet
1 R forwards small quick step on ball of foot.
& L forwards likewise.
2-4& Repeat counts 1-1& (making 8 steps in total travelling acw around the circle).
2
1-2&
Feet
1 R across infront. Twist body to the L & look down L.
& L in place.
2 R to the side.
& L in place. Straighten up body & head.
Arms L arm rotates cw from the elbow.
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& (Rotate L forearm whilst stepping R across infront & back.)

Part D

Summary: Travel as Part C. Elbows down infront while R across infront, arms down while (L in place, turn 360 deg acw in quick (R, L)).

Start Facing acw around the circle. Arms vertically down.
1 As Part C bar 1 (8 steps forwards around the circle whilst raising arms to T).
2
1
Feet R across infront with a bit of a dip from the knees.
Arms With forearms vertically up, upper arms horizontally out infront, hands vertically up & palms towards the body, dip the arms keeping the forearms vertical by lowering the elbows about half way.
2
Feet L close, straightening up from the dip.
Arms To vertically down.
3-4&
Feet Small brisk solo circle 360 deg acw in 4 small steps forwards starting with R foot.
Arms Trail elegantly (upper arms out to the sides about 45 down, R arm almost straight, L elbow bent so L hand is infront of the body).

Part E1

Summary: Facing R & hands downward infront, (stir (L hand cw & R hand cw) while quick (R across infront, L close)) x 4. (With arms as teapot/monkey/ballroom (R up), rock R & L) x 2.

Start Facing cw around the circle. Forward upper body lean. Arms curved out from the sides infront with hands loosely vertically down.
1
1-1&
Feet
1 R across infront with nearly flat foot. Travelling towards the centre of the circle.
& L to the side behind onto ball of foot. Feels like a slight limping motion. Travelling towards the centre of the circle.
Arms Hands move 360 deg on conical (apex at wrist) paths starting on the outside with L hand going cw & R hand acw. It is a sort of stirring motion.
2-4& Repeat counts 1-1& (R infront across, L side behind) 3 times more.
2
Feet As bar 1 ((R infront across, L side behind) x 4) but turning 180 deg acw to end facing cw around the circle on an inner track.
Arms
1 R arm up & L arm down (but in count 1 L arm does not need to move much as already down) whilst rocking the torso to the L. The lowered arm is to casually infront of the stomach with bent elbow with palm downwards. The raised arm is nearly straight from the shoulder but is up because of the torso lean. The hands trail behind the arms in the motion but giving more of a casual than a Flamenco look this time. The arm arrangement was described as a "teapot" but that in UK English usually means hand on hip whereas this was looser. I thought of it more like resembling a kids' hanging monkey game. (Unfortunately both descriptions risk being misinterpreted as non-PC insults :-) .). It is also similar to a male ballroom hold (minus partner).
2 As count one but in mirror image (L arm up & R arm down whilst rocking R).
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (rock L with L arm down & R arm up, vice versa).

On the 2nd time this part is done, when it is followed by Part F rather than Part E1, only turn 90 deg at the end so as to end up facing the centre of the circle.

Part E2

Summary: As Part E1 but travelling out backwards.

Same as Part E1 but starting in & facing cw so it travels outwards & ends back on the original circle facing acw around it.

Part F

Summary: (Arms arc up R while slow R backwards), mirror. Repeat on the spot.

Start Facing the centre of circle. Arms infront W-hold position (but not holding) with hands casually vertical upwards with palms facing forwards.
1
1
Feet R backwards.
Arms Swing arms R so that hands move in tandem in arcs (R then up) parallel to the coronal plane of the body. Has a casual feel signifying intermission from the previous part of the dance to a new section.
2 Repeat count 1 in mirror image (L backwards swinging arms L).
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (R backwards swinging arms R, mirror).
2 Repeat bar 1 on the spot with small steps ((R to the side small step swinging arms R, mirror) x 2).

Part G

Summary: Quick R across infront, L touch close behind, L replace, R touch close. R side, L close. Repeat.

Start Facing the centre of circle. Arms infront W-hold position (but not holding) with hands casually vertical with palms facing forwards.
1
1 R across infront. Body turns slightly acw.
& L touch close behind with toe of foot.
2 L replace.
& R touch close.
3 R to the side.
4 L close.
2 Repeat bar 1 (Quick R across infront, L touch close behind, L replace, R touch close. R side, L close.).

Part H

Summary: Arms up R while R side. Arms down L while L across infront. Repeat.

Start Facing the centre of circle.
1
1
Feet R to the side.
Arms Sweep up to the R.
Head Looks up R towards the raising arms.
2
Feet L across infront.
Arms Sweep down to the L.
Head Looks down L towards the lowering arms.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (R to the side with arms up R, L across infront with arms down L).
2 Repeat bar 1 (making (R to the side with arms up R, L across infront with arms down L) x 4 in total).

Part I

Summary: (R side, L touch), mirror.

Start Facing the centre of circle. Arms infront W-hold position (but not holding) with hands casually vertical with palms facing forwards.
1
1 R to the side.
2 L close.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 in mirror image (L to the side, R close).

Part J

Summary: Arms to high infront while 8 quick steps in. Bring down R arm infront while (R across infront, L touch close), mirror.

Start Facing the centre of circle. Arms vertically down.
1 As Part B1 (8 quick steps forwards in on balls of feet starting R foot) but with both arms raising in tandem (with palms down) to high infront (instead of just R arm to horizontal).
2
1-2
Feet
1 R infront turning 45 deg acw.
2 L close touch returning (45 deg cw turn back) to face the centre of the circle again.
Arms Bring the R arm down infront to vertically down with an elbow lead curve & with hand trailing palm up.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 in mirror image (L arm down whilst L infront & R close touch).

Part K

Summary: Travel out with quick (R across infront, L side) x 8 whilst rocking like Part E1 bar 2.

Start Facing cw around the circle on inner track. Arms vertically down.
1 Rock & arms like Part E1 bar 2 (with monkey/teapot/ballroom arms, rock (L, R) x 2) bar 2 but travelling out with (R across infront, L side) x 4.
2 Repeat bar 1 ( (R across infront, L side) x 4 with teapot rocks).

Ending

Summary: Part A lowering arms to fade out.

Starting arms in T, do as Part A ((R side, L close) x 4 with wrist flapping) but progressively lowering arms to ones sides as the music fades out over 2 bars.