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Change: going back to the roots

Finding wisdom, grace and power in Armenian folk dances

Shakeh Major Tchilingirian

Balance. Zeitschrift des Fachverbandes Meditation des Tanzes – Sacred Dance e.V.  NR 2 / 201, 2017.


“There is dance in all of life,” writes Komitas (1869-1935), the famed priest musicologist and founder of Armenian national school of music. Indeed, dance has always been part of humanity as significant ritual, ceremonial, communal and social meaning-transmitter and cultural expression. Komitas explains that “the spirit of national music is the aggregate of patterns that a nation instinctively employs in singing” and dancing. It is the song and dance that “are immediate, non-artificial,” which are “intrinsic reflections of the internal and external life of the folk.”


The entire Universe a dance?

Is not the Life of the entire Universe a dance?


Shakeh Major Tchilingirian

String of Pearls (40 Anniversary of Sacred Dance at Findhorn), July 2016


Komitas, the renowned Armenian musicologist and composer, asked this question a century ago.  Indeed, he would have possibly never imagined that there would be a Universal Hall in Findhorn in Scotland, which is celebrating its 40th Birthday this year, where people of all nationalities from all walks of life converge to share this Dance of Life.



There is Dance in All of Life

Balance. Alles ist Eins NR. 2, 2015 (pp. 22-23).

By Shakeh Major Tchilingirian


The dance of primitive humans expressed the simplicity in their lives. As human civilisation advanced, music and dance continued to be refined as expressions of thoughts and feelings. Music and dance are integral parts of deep human spirituality.  Indeed, as Komitas, the renowned Armenian musicologist and composer asked a century ago: “Is not the life of the entire universe a dance?”  Following his travels to hundreds of villages and towns collecting and transcribing thousands of folksongs, Komitas came to the realization that “there is dance in all of life.”



Circle Dance in Remembrance of a Courageous Woman

 GrapevineAutumn 2015, pp 21-22. 

(Quarterly Journal of the Sacred/Circle Dance Network)

By Shakeh Major Tchilingirian 


The entire town of Gylling (about 300 km away from Copenhagen), the birthplace of Karen Jeppe (1876-1934), who saved and cared for thousands of Armenian orphans and women during the Armenian Genocide, came together, along with Armenians from different parts of Denmark, on 2nd May to take part in the ceremonies dedicated to this extraordinary woman and great humanitarian.