Concert of the Ensemble of Circassian Music and Dance “Bzabza”

“Grandma’s Dance”: Concert of the Ensemble of Circassian (Adyghe and Abkhazian) Music and Dance “Bzabza” [“Бзабзэ”=“Blade”] in the Kabardian State Concert Hall in Nalchik on 27 July 2016. The immaculate musicians and elegant dancers of “Bzabza” perform highly refined and stylized folk dances of the Circassians and the Northwest Caucasians.

1. “Qafe” («Къафэ»): Slow Stately dance, performed with pride touching on aloofness and with a great measure of self-control. It is verily the dance of the princes. There have been hundreds of tunes devised for this dance throughout the ages. Neighbouring peoples, like the Balkars and the Ossetes, adopted and adapted this dance form. The Ossetic version is called «Кашкон кафт» (‘Kashkon Kaft’) [‘Kabardian Dance’]. Most old dances had a measure of 6/8. Recent melodies are lighter and more brisk, having a 2/4 measure.

2. “Grandma’s Dance” («Нанэ и къафэ»).

3. “Ubykh Lhaperife” («Убых лъапэрыфэ»), or “Ubykh Dance en pointe”. The Ubykh are one of the lost nations of the Northwest Caucasus, closely kindred to the Circassians.

Artistic Director: Zubeir Yewaz.
Choreographer & Director: Asyat Qwschhe.
Choreographer: Mechrail Schojen.
Musicians: Diana Apse, Timur Qarden, Suzanna Thelijoqwe, Teimirqan Qwnash, and Viacheslav Qwnizch.
Project Producers: Zubeir Yewaz and Marat Perit.

Zubeir Yewaz (Еуаз Зубер; Зубер Евазов) well represents the new generation of Circassian traditionalists. He studied the Circassian violin (шыкIэпшынэ; shich’epshine) in Nalchik, and is currently a scholar at the Kabardino-Balkarian Institute for Research in the Humanities, where he has done work on collecting and reviving folk songs and melodies. He is the musical director of the National Dance Ensemble “Hetiy” (“Khatti”), a group of young and talented musicians and dancers, and the artistic director of the Sirin Ensemble, which has a repertoire of ancient and traditional songs and melodies played on authentic Circassian instruments (no accordion or baraban). These two groups play an important role in the dissemination and propagation of the Circassian musical lore amongst the young.
Yewaz’s CD “Circassian Songs and Melodies” («АДЫГЭ ПШЫНАЛЪЭХЭР»; “Adyghe Pshinalhexer”; 2007), utilizes authentic traditional musical instruments. Yewaz plays the Circassian violin and Anzor Biytoqw plays the px’ets’ich (пхъэцIыч; percussion instrument of the clappers type). The epic recording received the seal of approval from the Circassian composer Zhebre’iyl He’wpe. The famous plaint “The Plaintive Song of the Inhabitants of the Laba” (“Labe Desxem ya Thewsixe”) is one of his repertoire pieces. Yewaz collaborated with the Circassian folklorist Ziramikw Qardenghwsch’ to preserve twelve Ubykh melodies, which he personally performs.