Kushtdepdi: The dance reflecting historical and cultural heritage

During extended session of the Cabinet of Ministers on December 8, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov informed on the inclusion of Turkmen national singing art and dance kushtdepdi to the Representative List of the UNESCO Non-material Cultural Heritage and congratulated the compatriots on this event, this decision was unanimously taken at the 12th session of Interstate Committee on Protection of Non-material Cultural Heritage held in Cheju (the Republic of Korea).

Celebration in the capital Congress Palace was dedicated to this event. Historians, cultural and art masters, public representatives and mass media gathered there. Famous dance bands, singers and musicians made celebration performances.

The participants of the event familiarized with topical exposition expanded in the foyer of the Palace, which exhibits include visual, decorative and applied art items, sculpture, potter and jewellery works as well as carpets and carpet items, which style and patterns reflect choreographic language and substantive content of the dance.

The performance of original and expressive dance by folk bands was the culmination of the event.

As is known, the idea of popularization of kushtdepdi belongs to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The particpants highlighted that kushtdepdi is bright and unique sample of national art and the reflection of harmonic combination of historical and cultural traditions of the nation, its spiritual experience and art potential of modern epoch.

The participants of the event noted the relevance of the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on popularization of the richest historical and cultural heritage of Turkmen people in the world and on activation of works in this direction. In this context, the inclusion of kushtdepdi to the List of Non-material Cultural Heritage of the humanity is priceless.

Archaeological findings and written monuments indicate the ancient origin of this dance. The scientists confirm that these are kushtdepdi dancers who are pictured on ancient epoch rytons discovered during Old Nisa excavations.

Substantive content of kushtdepdi allows going deep to the centuries as original plastic image and artistic varieties of this dance reflect spiritual perception of nature's phenomena and its arrangement by Turkmen people.

The performers of kushtedpi narrate of the endless life cycle, love and miracle of new life birth, open attitudinal meaning of the rituals by choreographic language enhanced by vocal vibration. Dance novels replace each other and gradually involve the spectators to the vortex of emotions with energetic movements.

The dance begins with reading out the verses, which set the rhyme to the composition. Measured movement round the circle of the performers with their hands raised in the air is important element of the dance. When the round is over, the dancers stop saying: Kusht, kusht, kushtdepdi as if hailing new life cycle.

National dance is special part of the culture. Kushtdepdi is bright and visual evidence of the evolution of the worldview of Turkmen nation and enrichment of its spiritual component. It brings strong vital message uniting the history and the presence involving in the world of expressive choreography combining the aesthetics of traditional dance and ritual eclecticism. Protection of kushtedepi as national and important element of non-material cultural heritage is a duty of current and future generations.

Source: State News Agency of Turkmenistan