What is it that characterizes any nation without much words and long explanations? Dances, of course, because it is these movements, refined over centuries, that can tell a foreigner about other peoples much more than thick history books. If you carefully watch and feel the way people dance in different countries, their mind set will become much more comprehensible. And these aren’t mere words.
It has been proven more than once that body language is a true continuation of thoughts and feelings of a person and it uncovers even things that sit deep in subconscious. We decided to tell you about some folk dances that particularly impressed us. So, should you plan to emigrate without knowing language and traditions, you can confidently start with moves, such knowledge will not be spare – that’s for sure.
Parasol Dance, Japan
In fact, fine and graceful moves have nothing to do with either geishas or erotic, as common misconception is. Nor is it a variation of the famous dance with fans. Let’s try and figure out: Higasa Odori is an ancient ritual of Japanese salutary way of conduct. Delicate young girls with parasols, normally at court, used to meet delegates and dear guests form other states. The ceremony caught special fancy of Chinese guests. At that, performance of the dance differed depending on who it was to come and visit. Many years later the moves left palaces and Japanese women began bringing joy of such beauty to ordinary people by dancing in squares of cities in early spring. Nowadays Higasa Odori is a major culture attribute of the Land of the Rising Sun that is appreciated as historic heritage and preserved in compliance with traditions.
Despite the fact that majority of Brazilians are quite peaceful and romantic, from time to time their excessively peppery temper demands some blowoff. This is probably why they invented capoeira – martial art with elements of dance that gained popularity all over the world due to its spectacularity. First mention of fighters&dancers appeared as far back as in 16th century. Over the years the dance that has its roots in Africa, because it was there from where slaves brought it to Brazil, was more than once both prohibited and enjoying all kinds of support on state level. Nowadays Capoeira is the same kind of brand as Brazilian football players and local coffee. It is considered international and is used everywhere and anywhere, starting with movies starring Mark Dacascos and ending with video games.
Square Dance, USA
Origins of this dance that is stipulated as “official” in many states of North America date back to 19th century. It was finally shaped in 20th century when it perfectly matched country music. Pace of a track is considered important, thus best number of beats per minute constitutes 120-128 - this way dancers make one step per bar. Square Dance incorporated elements from mostly Irish but also other British dances yet it is hard to confuse it for anything else: four couples make a square and preserve it the whole time. The dance doesn’t require any kind of special clothing but women still prefer swaying in dresses while men choose cowboy hats and boots thus paying tribute to the country that gave this style to the world.
Lezginka, countries of Caucasus
It is a true trademark of all peoples who live in Caucasus. This quick and emotional dance together with national music reflects this beyond-words state of “rich soul of the highlanders”. History of Lezginka is really long and today it is impossible to positively state who exactly was it to demonstrate it first and when it happened. This eternal dispute that has been on among ethnic groups of Caucasus will hardly ever be resolved. It is probably for the best because each of them has motivation to perform Lezginka better and better to be able to say: “we dance it so great because it was our people who came up with it”. For those unaware: male moves imitate an eagle while female – a swan, it is important to interpret them properly not to offend vulnerable Caucasians.
African dance, that got its name after the famous drum, constantly makes it to lists of “the sexiest” and “the loosest” ones. Almost every part of human body is used in the moves, this electrifies the air incredibly and everyone feel like following an impulse. One of the main tourist attractions of Dakar is Sabar Parties during which whole districts dance all night long with people forgetting all problems and other things to do to their own content. The word is that 21st century may become a century of this dance of all others because although being unveiled to the world relatively recently (in late 20th century) it has already gained incredible popularity in all nooks of our planet.
Polka, Czech Republic
Contrary to entrenched stereotype, this popular European dance didn’t originate in Poland but in the lands of Bohemia in the middle 19th century. All in all, due to its etymology, Polka isn’t interpreted properly when they say that it comes from “pulka” that means “half-step” and is confused for Swedish dance Polska. Almost immediately after its emergence, the dance spread to many European countries where it was adjusted in own way, but still, in various competitions and festivals Czech version is considered a paragon.
The artist from New Zealand Hayley King working under the brand FLOX is well-known all over the world for the fascinating pictures showing the enlightened beauty of wild nature. Her colorful birds, picturesque landscapes, and fairy-tale-like animals remind us about the necessity to get united with the primordial nature. Hayley King creates the type of art giving inspiration and vitality. She is concentrated onto recognition of ancient heritage of the sacral places and making it spread among the wide publics. In the interview the artist told us about her social projects, travels and the modern cultural trends inherent to New Zealand.
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning, whether you need some vegetables, or even some extra litres of water!
You often got convinced that skilful hands of a master who puts life into his creation, can transform humble tree stump into a charming violin, piece of plaster becomes an ancient sculpture, and even clay tile looks like a work of fine art.
Twelve-string guitar, the twilight of Portuguese nights, candles, and soul-gripping voice… Dramatic incentives of fado song tell about unrequited love. It cannot appear in the crossroads of destinies; however, it enables feelings to embody into the touching sounds of Portuguese romances.
Thanks to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ukraine and personally Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alisher Abdualiev OUTLOOK was lucky enough to visit this hospitable country. And today we will tell about a unique place - the Mausoleum of the prominent military leader and political figure of Amir Temur.
The Japanese are one of those peoples who zealously respect the ancient traditions. They respect old age, being interested in ancestors and often know the family ancestry by heart. With such a worldview, it is not surprising that a unique technique for the restoration of kintsugi appeared exactly there. Read about it in Outlook.
The eccentric elder Katsushika Hokusai was the real star of the Edo period, the creative genius and the brutal debtor of the half of his city. He used at least 30 names, changed 93 houses and created a lot of prints, drawings and paintings. His internationally recognized print The Great Wave off Kanagawa is mesmerizing. But only a few people know that this block printing, as well as many other works, was created by Hokusai with assistance of his daughter - artist Katsushika Ōi, lost in time and overshadowed by her genius father crazy about art.
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we tell you about art of straw work, about materials that craftsmen use and what secrets and unique features of this craft are. Feel the world with us!
‘Love evolves when one looks in the eyes of the person beloved seeing there God’, in such a way the lines of some Arabian song called Qawali is translated. The authorship of this chant is ascribed to Eastern strangers Sufi who tending to find the sense of existence strolled around the half an Earth bare-footed. In the travels they composed songs where they told narration describing what they had to endure.
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti with his unbelievable works.
"Dali in a skirt", "The greatest provoker of the last century", shocking and inspiring confidence in the almost limitless potential of man, Frida Kahlo surprised contemporaries and continues to admire the admirers of her work today. The people of Kiev can now look behind the scenes of the life of the Mexican genius. With the support of the Embassy of Mexico in Ukraine in the National Museum named after Taras Shevchenko an exhibition of photographs devoted to the relations between Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera was opened.
The free fight has not feminine face. The good girl could smile in a pretty way and care colorful dress but not strike out wildly. But in the fierce Ands such gentle flowers do not grow. The true Bolivian cholit will be quick on the uptake, and it is able to fill in if necessary. But on Sunday, having gathered the starched skirts, she will desperately go to fight
Ice cream with a taste of horse meat, pickled insects, fish with deadly venom, etc – Japanese cuisine has things to surprise, amaze and shock you with. And truth be told, enumeration of these dishes doesn’t help my appetite at all. But we are not after exotic stuff. True culinary tourism is an attempt to comprehend mindset and feel national distinctive color through traditional cuisine – not try most exotic dishes. Parts of people’s souls, its history and culture are actually concentrated in national dainties.
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life. Twilight land of legends always have a shelter for a weary traveller: no one is alone on the paths of spirits.
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple. However, while admiring another line intricacy and allusive painting theme, bear in mind that beneath the plot of glossy surface, as per usual, stand painfully familiar disputes with an impatient client, unpleasant surprises from nature and damaged health of painters-executants.
The Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ukraine and Ambassador's Spouses Club Kiev welcomed the Ukrainian public and foreign guests with the national art of the Uzbek people, traditions and principles of creating pieces of art made by the folk artists and artists from Uzbekistan.
Dirty cars are like a host for an artist. One may treat such art differently. Someone will wrinkle his nose and disdainfully wrestle his clothes. Others necessarily want to put a finger in such a picture in order to check the fragility of the "canvas" and smear its outlines. However, others will definitely make a selfie. However, nobody can pass by.