From the Eastern coast of the Black Sea Georgia extends inland, into the Caucasus Mountains, forming a transcontinental stretch connecting Europe and Asia. The ancient legend has it that at the time when God gave away land for various peoples to live on and cultivate, the Georgians came late as they had been too busy eating and drinking. When, at last, they called upon God for land, he replied that there was none left.
The Georgians, seating the Lord to the table, apologized by explaining that they had been drinking to his health. God enjoyed their company so much that he decided to grant them the land he had set aside for himself. Indeed, Georgia is a god-blessed country with the wealth of cultural heritage which blends the best features of the Middle Eastern, European and the indigenous cultures. This is first and foremost true with respect to music.
Music is an exceptional medium, easy to understand and offering an honest glimpse of one’s inner self. Music pictures are more eloquent than the written records at telling of events that preoccupied the minds of the humanity throughout the history. Georgian music has indeed a unique place in the history of world culture.
Georgian polyphonic singing had its origins in the times of antiquity. It has gone a long way of evolutionary development to become an unmatched masterpiece and a precious cultural possession not only of the people of Georgia but of the whole world. ‘Chakrulo’— a true jewel of the Georgian polyphonic singing – is a great case in point.
It is the oldest Georgian hymn celebrating the martial spirit and valor of Georgian people. ‘Chakrulo’ was acknowledged by UNESCO as a masterpiece of world music. In 1977 when NASA embarked on a large-scale space exploration campaign and initiated the search for extra-terrestrial civilizations, a golden disk of records, containing a selection of the Earthly civilizations highest achievements, was sent into the outer space. The part of the disc relating to folk music contained ‘Chakrulo’ as the best illustration of human musical abilities. It stands to reason why it is exactly with this song that the ‘SAMAIA’ show culminates.
The national soul speaks through dancing: national temperament, character, aesthetic ideals are articulated through movements. The Caucasian art of dancing is world-famous. All that words can not define, finds expression in the magical and graceful beauty of a Caucasian dance.