Republic of Dance: Passing It On in Signagi, Georgia (Video)

Republic of Dance: Passing It On in Signagi, Georgia (Video)

Signagi’s a small town – only 3,000 people live here – but it’s a powerhouse. Center of Kakheti, Georgia’s wine country in the South Caucasus, Signagi was built on a hill overlooking the farms and vineyards of the Alazani Valley, with the dark peaks of the Caucasus Mountain marking the horizon like a line of storm clouds.

This is a region where wine grapes flourish, wine-makers depend on traditional methods, and artists breathe new life into ancient Georgian songs and dances.

Dancing in SignagiThe Zlekha Ensemble focuses on the folk dances of the Caucasus. Here, members perform a portion of a traditional dance, accompanied by Ketevan (second from right) on the three-stringed panduri, and Vano Chincharuli on the ancient diplipito drum.

Zedashe EnsembleThe Zlekha Ensemble has a sister group, the Zedashe Ensemble. Ketevan Mindorashvili founded the Zedashe Ensemble in the mid 1990s to rescue and revive the old traditional songs and dances that had nearly died out during communist times. Her life in Signagi revolves around performing with Zedashe and teaching the polyphonic songs and folk dances she has collected from elders over the years. Members of the ensemble teach dancing and polyphonic singing to local children, as well as to adults from all over the world in practice rooms above Pheasant’s Tears restaurant in Signagi.

Georgian dancers. Photo credit: John Wurdeman

The Zedashe Ensemble performs a traditional Nar-Nari dance
Photo credit: John Wurdeman

 

Travel to Georgia with MIR

MIR has 30 years of unmatched destination expertise and travel planning experience, hand-crafting tours to Georgia and the South Caucasus since 1986. Fall in love with this part of the world on MIR’s small group tours to Georgia:

Head to Georgia to enjoy a performance of Georgian dance and polyphonic singing on one of MIR’s small group tours:

Or, you can opt to travel on your dates and at your pace on MIR’s independent private trips: Essential GeorgiaEssential Georgia & Armenia or Essential Caucasus. MIR also specializes in custom, private tours of Georgia and the South Caucasus.

 

Admiring the View in Signagi, Georgia

Admiring the view in Signagi, Georgia
Photo Credit: Mariana Noble

Top Photo: The Zedashe Ensemble performing in their Signagi studio; Credit: John Wurdeman

PUBLISHED: October 31, 2016

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