Ovivi erk

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

Formation Circle. No hold.
Dance Structure ((A x 2) + (B x 2) + (C1 + C2)) repeated throughout music.
Music Structure 4 counts/bar. 4 bars/phrase.
Music Speed 80 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.

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.

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


Summary: 8 bars.

Wait through 8 bars of Part C music.

Part A

Summary: R forwards raising R hand, L close, bounce x 2. Ditto out but both hands to mid height. Out with (R, quick L close, pause) x 2 lowering arms. Slow (R side, L close) with arms R & centre.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Arms by sides.
Body Turning 45 deg acw so the R shoulder leads into the circle.
1 R forwards towards the centre of the circle.
2 L close.
Arms Raise R arm to infront (actually to the R side infront because that is the direction towards the centre of the circle when the body is turned with R shoulder inwards) ending with the arm about 30 deg from the vertical with the hand vertical with the palm facing forwards. For extra gracefulness, move the arm to curved across the body with the hand near horizontal infront of the lower belly and straighten arm as it goes up with the elbow initially leading (this was not explicitly mentioned but was done sometimes (when convenient from where the arm was previously) by Pajlak as a natural styling detail).
Head Gaze direction follows the R hand.
3 Small down-up bounce from the knees.
4 Repeat count 3 (bounce).
Body Turning 45 deg cw to face the centre of the circle.
1 R backwards (but not as far as it went forwards in bar 1 because there are 2 bars to move out)
2 L close.
Arms Lower R arm and bend its elbow so that the R elbow ends up about 10 cm from the side of the torso & slightly infront and the R hand ends up at chest height infront of the upper arm & about 20 cm ahead of the front plane of the chest. Meanwhile the L arm is raised to the corresponding (mirror image) position on the other side. The path of the R hand to this position is to have it slightly overshoot the final position on the way down so as to accompany the L hand on the last part of its path up. Whilst the arms are moving, the hands simultaneously each make an acw conical rotation at the wrist ending with the hand vertically up and palm facing forward. The R hand rotation comprises the hand tilting in & down as the arm comes down then continuing its rotation down, out & up. The L hand rotation comprises the hand tilting down as the arm goes up then continuing its rotation in & up. At the end of the arm & hand motion there is a slight lowering of the wrists (which feels a natural coming to rest of the hands after their rotation).
Head Gaze direction follows the R hand until the hands come together whereupon it is towards the pair of hands.
3-4 As bar 1 counts 3-4 (2 small down-up bounces).
1 R backwards.
& L close.
Arms Lower both arms half way to being beside ones sides.
2 Pause.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (R backwards & L close lowering arms, pause) but with arms continuing their lowering ending up with hands by ones sides.
Feet R to the side.
Arms Hands back up to where they were at chest height and each then move about 20 cm to the R.
Feet L close.
Arms Hands move L back to where they were symmetrically at chest height and then move down to by ones sides.

Part B

Summary: Backwards to R in (R, L close without weight) & mirror, with L arm bent, L elbow up & R hand leading behind. 360 deg acw in (R slow, L quick with hand rotation) x 4.

Start Facing cw around the circle with the torso twisted 45 deg cw to face 45 deg acw of the direction to the centre of the circle. Move R arm to straight to the side with hand at chest height and L arm to bent with elbow to the side at shoulder height & hand infront of left breast. Wrists are bent so hands are vertically down. Gaze is towards R hand.
1-2 R backwards, travelling acw around the circle. Commence a slow small down-up bounce by lowering the centre of gravity by bending the knees slightly.
3-4 L close onto ball of foot without weight transfer whilst completing the down-up bounce by raising by straightening the R knee.
2 Repeat bar 1 on opposite feet (L backwards, R close without weight transfer).
1-2 R forwards, turning 90 deg acw.
& L close onto ball of foot. (The majority of the time is spent in this bar stepping onto the R foot with the L foot action being essentially to just briefly & subtly take the weight for pivoting.)
Arms Hands perform 360 deg conical rotations at the wrist in opposite directions (R hand acw, L hand cw). These rotations start with the palms up & in, then the hands go in, down & up (the backs of the hands are uppermost at this point) then rotate (R hand cw, L hand acw, simply about their axis not conically) to original place. That last simple rotation is quicker than the conical rotation (like the L step is quicker than the R) giving a feeling of tidy completeness to the rotation. Arms are in the same place relative to the body as in bars 1-2 throughout.
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& (turn 90 deg acw in R slow, L quick with hand rotations).
4 Repeat bar 3 ((turn 90 deg acw in R slow, L quick with hand rotations) x 2).

Part C1

Summary: As Part A 1st half but facing centre and arms down & up. (R side & L close tilting R, ditto tilting L) x 2.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Upper arms by sides. Hands at chest height infront of the upper arms with hands vertically up & palms facing forwards.
Feet As Part A bar 1 (R forwards, L close, bounce x 2) but stay facing the centre of the circle.
1-2 Down infront to hands by sides.
3-4 Pause.
Feet As Part A bar 2 (R backwards, L close, bounce x 2).
1-2 Up to the position they started this part in.
3-4 Pause.
1 R to the side.
2 L close.
Torso Tilt torso (with arms maintaining relative position to it so they tilt also) to R about 5 deg (tilting too much looks comic which does not fit the style of the dance).
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (R side, L close) but with the tilt to the L.
4 Repeat bar 3 (R side & L close tilting R, ditto tilting L).

Part C2

Summary: As Part C1 but instead of tilting, turn hands towards (L first) & away (R first).

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Upper arms by sides. Hands at chest height infront of the upper arms with hands vertically up & palms facing forwards.
1-2 As part C1 bars 1-2 (R forwards & L close lowering arms, bounce x 2; ditto backwards raising arms).
Feet As Part C1 bar 3 counts 1-2 (R side, L close).
Hands Turn (simple rotation not conical) L hand 180 deg in (acw) so that palm faces head. If the R hand was facing in then likewise turn it 180 deg in (acw) to face out. The degree of other motion is uncertain as I've seen it done variously. My memory of it from the course was of it mainly being done very subtly with hardly any other motion and an almost Hassidic meek feeling. However a friend who was on the same course as me and who has also lead this dance back in the UK remembered it with big pumping motions of the hand that faces the face moving towards the face & the other one away so that they end up about 40 cm different in distance from the body and the in-out motion visually dominates the hand turning. The video from the course (which showed a last-minute specimen demonstration rather than the class due to accommodation issues) has Pajlak doing somewhere between the two, with his hands moving delicately to about 10 cm apart.
Head Move gaze & tilt head towards the hand with the palm up.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (R side, L close) but with the R hand turning in & the L hand turning out.
4 Repeat bar 3 (R side & L close turning L hand to face & R hand away, ditto with opposite hands).