Sepastia bar
(Armenia)

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

Formation Open circle. Little fingers hold with hands & elbows at shoulder height.
Dance Structure ((A1+A2) + (B1+B2) + (A1+A2) + (C1+C2)) repeated throughout the music.
Music Structure 4 counts/bar. Phrases of 4, 2 & 2 bars.
Music Speed 110 counts/min at the start rising to 150 counts/min by the end.
Source The women's version from numerous people as it has been in the UK International dance repertoire a long time. I first learnt it from Sally Fletcher in Ipswich in 1995 or 1996. The men's styling came 2020/12/11 by email from Gary Lind-Sinanian.

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.

An Armenian dance to music with an almost musical box tinkley sound (I guess it is played on a kanoun, which is similar to a dulcimer). Delicate but with (for women) a distinctive staccato hand flick.

The main steps below are the women's version. The men's version is almost never done in UK International dance, instead the men do the women's version too as it is more interesting.

Indeed I have only come across the men's version a couple of times & they were nearly two decades prior to me writing it down. A long time collector & teacher of Armenian dance in the USA, Gary Lind-Sinanian contacted me by email after seeing my notes on the web pointing out that I had got the men's style wrong - more Georgian than Armenian. I have since replaced my notes for that with ones based on his email.

Style: Proud, upright & controlled yet gentle. A feeling of continual flowing motion, especially in the arms, when not specifically staccato. Women's default Armenian hand shape when not holding, men with fists.

Introduction

Summary: None.

Start immediately.

Part A1

Summary: Starting R ft, Triple Step R x 3 with arms & head R L R. R forwards touch, pause, R staccato flick behind. (Triple Step on spot turning to face other way. Mirror the touch-flick.), mirror.

Start Lower body facing acw around the circle with torso twisted 45 deg towards the centre of the circle. Arms horizontally towards the centre of the circle.
1
Feet
1 R forwards.
2 L forwards.
3-4 R forwards. Together with previous 2 steps, this comprises a Triple Step.
Arms Move to the R smoothly taking the whole bar.
Head If not already facing to the R (acw around the circle) then turn to the R along with the arm movement.
2 Repeat bar 1 but on opposite feet (Triple Step in the same direction but starting with L foot) & with arms & head going to the L.
3 Repeat bar 1 (Triple Step starting with R foot & arms & head going to the R).
4
1-2 L forwards touching toes to ground without weight transfer.
3 Pause.
4 Staccato flick L leg up behind from the knee.
5
Feet Triple Step on the spot starting with L foot turning to face to the L to the same degree as one was facing to the R at the start of the bar.
Arms To the L.
Head To the L.
6 Repeat bar 4 in mirror image (R touch across forwards, pause, R staccato flick up behind).
7-8 Repeat bars 5-6 in mirror image (Triple Step on the spot starting R foot with arms & head to the R then as bar 4).

Part A2

Summary: A1 mirrored.

As Part A1 but L to R mirrored (so it starts going cw around the circle with L foot).

Part B1

Summary: Part A1 to leading arm up hand facing in & trailing arm across infront hand facing down during touch (with preparatory down in previous bar) & swivel hands in flick.

This is the same as Part A1 but with hand action added.

Feet As Part A1 throughout.
Arms
1-2 As Part A1 bars 1-2.
3 As they move to the R they go down with hands ending up about solar plexus level.
4
1-2 Move smoothly ending up with L forearm horizontally across infront of the torso with palm up & R arm up (nearly vertical but with a slight curve to make it not look strained & awkward) with palm towards the midsagittal plane. Hands end up flat.
3 Pause.
4 Staccato swivel both hands 180 deg (ending up with L palm down & R palm facing away from the midsagittal plane).
5 As bar but in mirror image (down L).
6 As bar 4 but mirror image (L arm up & R arm across, pause, swivel).
7-8 As bars 5-6 but in mirror image.

Returning arms to the start position is incorporated into the first arm movement of the following Part.

Part B2

Summary: B1 mirrored.

As Part B1 but L to R mirrored (so it starts going cw around the circle).

Part C1

Summary: Part B1 but turn 360 deg cw during travelling.

This is the same as Part B1 but with an added turn.

As Part B1 but during the travelling Triple Steps of bars 1-3, release hands & turn 360 deg cw (whilst still progressing acw around the circle). Arms move R & L relative to the body as before.

Part C2

Summary: C1 mirrored.

As Part C1 but L to R mirrored (so it starts going cw around the circle & the turn is acw).

Men's version.

Summary: Arms, when free, in a more rounded shape, with less motion & no flicks.

The male arm are extended but in a relaxed, not rigid, curve at chest level similar to the 'holding the ball' position in Tai Chi Chuan or chi-gung. The hands are open (not fists) and relaxed, facing to the front. The arms sway to sides slightly, but with more restraint than the women. They clap at the same time the ladies do if clapping is done in the dance, and some American-Armenian males snap their fingers during the travel sections or when turning as a counterpoint to the wrist rotation gestures of the women. It is strong but graceful, not rigid like the male posture found in other places in the Caucasus such as Georgia. (This paragraph has been edited from a written description by Gary Lind-Sinanian.)