Armenian traditional dance Kochari
Most Armenian folk dances originated from pre-Christian times in Armenian Highlands when Armenians were pagan. Armenian dances passed down through the generations with some changes. However, they preserved their structural, musical, and moving features.
Kochari is one of the most popular dances of Armenians, danced in a group of men and women, and is known for its tune played on the zurna.
Kochari is a traditional dance widely performed throughout the country during holidays, festive celebrations, family ceremonies, and other social events. It is open to all participants, irrespective of age, gender, or social status. Kochari provides a sense of shared identity and solidarity, contributes to the continuity of historical, cultural, and ethnic memory, and fosters mutual respect among community members of all ages. It is transmitted through non-formal and formal means and is one of the rare traditional dances whose chain of transmission has never been interrupted.
Formal transmission means include a “folk song and dance” course in the curricula of comprehensive schools in Armenia since 2004, educational programs in youth arts centers, increased visibility of the element through the internet and other media outlets, and institutional initiatives. Folk dance groups have also been active in various communities since the 1960s, and non-governmental organizations regularly hold dance classes. Non-formal transmission occurs within families and through spontaneously formed dance groups. Communities, groups, and individuals are actively involved in ensuring the element’s viability, notably through the “Our dances and we” initiative, carried out since 2008, with experienced practitioners playing a pivotal role in safeguarding efforts.