Georgian Dance Documentary


“Georgian Dance” seeks out the culture and history enfolded in Georgian folk dance to discover how and why it has developed since 4th century BC into the world-acclaimed dance it is known as today.

“Georgian Dance” describes the journey of discovering the music, cultural context, and choreography in Georgian dance. Teeming with epic stage fencing and interviews with scholars, archaeologists, and dancers, “Georgian Dance” translates into film the passion and energy found in the dance.

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Making Georgian Dance Documentary

I was thrilled to have finally had the opportunity to film this documentary! I had the chance to climb the snow-dusted Caucasus mountains (one of the highest mountains in Europe) 9,500 feet above ground to see the dancers’ fiery moves on the backdrop of formidable snow peaks, weathered by winds kicking up flurries of dusty snow that encircled us. I was struck to find a church – Gergeti Trinity Church – built in the 14th century so humbly nestled amongst such giants- a jewel of Georgian architecture and religious history.

I visited museums boasting ancient jewelry made of corn (who knew?!), and painted vases alive with dancing figures caught in mid-twirls and sword clashes. There was even an ancient traditional Georgian male dress – Chokha – that today all male dancers wear when performing.

I met prominent scholars and talked with archeologists, searching for the roots of Georgian dance, looking for how the history and culture had sculpted out the Georgian dance we know today.

I was lucky enough to meet popular dance groups like Rustavi and Erisioni to watch them rehearse. The energy of the male dancers as they jumped and clashed swords bounced off the studio walls and struck me with bolts of energy, while the soft, swan-like gliding of the female dancers had a lulling, soothing effect.

Georgian Dance is one of the few dances where the girl and boy don’t touch, and the only dance where the men dance on their knees and employ real swords to fence.

But the more I interviewed and listened, traveled and watched, the more I realized how the whole country reverberates with history and culture of the centuries.