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Ritual Dances-Games as Poorly Known Elements of Ukrainians Traditional Wedding

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The authors of the publication:
Kurochkin Oleksandr
Bibliographic description:
Kurochkin, O. (2019) Ritual Dances-Games as Poorly Known Elements of Ukrainians Traditional Wedding. Folk Art and Ethnology, 6 (382), 78–91.


Kurochkin Oleksandr – a Doctor of History, professor, senior research fellow at the NASU M. Rylskyi IASFE Ukrainian Ethnological Centre Department


Ritual Dances-Games as Poorly Known Elements of Ukrainians Traditional Wedding



Place and significance of dance in the Ukrainians wedding ritual is studied insufficiently for today. It is right to divide wedding dances into two groups: ritual and non-ritual ones. The latter belong to artistic phenomena of tardy formation. They are not connected with genesis and ritual structure. They can be included into the program of various holiday and entertaining actions and events. However ritual dances-games, considered in proposed article, belong to deeper layers of folk life and culture. They form fundamental and structural-creative leitmotiv of wedding performance. Original syncretic nature of folk art appears in them clearly. Dance is interwoven closely with the other kinds of art: drama, pantomime, singing, music, game, public merriments. On the essence it is saying about the fragments of ritual chorea – a magic dance-singing-game, which have been preserved partly in traditional surroundings till the 21st century.

The first attempt to determine significance, functions and semantics of ritual dances-games as inalienable part of the Ukrainians traditional wedding ritual is realized on the base of interdisciplinary approach, by the way of system analysis of literary, documentary, ethnographic and folklore materials.

Considered group of dances (Zhuravel, Zaichyk, DancesontheBurlap, Choboty) is distinguished by national originality, vividness, exoticness, carnival freedom and humour. At the same time, they are characterized by public significance, aiming at the accomplishment of important social mission, namely the consolidation of ancestral collective.

Ritual dances-games require the further study with the use of modern methods and ways of the ethno-choreology science.



dance, game, rite, wedding, carnival laugh, shameful folklore, choreographic tradition.



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