Georgia has rich and still vibrant traditional music, which is primarily known as arguably the earliest polyphonic tradition of the Christian world. Georgian performers are well represented in the world’s leading opera troupes and concert stages.
The folk music of Georgia consists of at least fifteen regional styles, as “musical dialects”. These regions are traditionally grouped into two, eastern and western Georgian groups. Perhaps the most well-known example of Georgian music is the patriotic “Chakrulo”, which was chosen to accompany the Voyager spacecraft in 1977.
Georgian folk music is predominantly vocal and is widely known for its rich traditions of vocal polyphony. Western Georgian contrapuntal polyphony features the local variety of the yodel, known as krimanchuli
Georgian polyphonic singing was among the first on the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001. Georgian polyphonic singing was relisted on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.
Georgian dance is a celebration of life and of Georgia’s rich and diverse culture. The dances perfectly capture the natural gracefulness and beauty of Georgian women and the courage, honor and respectfulness of Georgian men. The male dancers perform spectacular leaps and turns, incredible spins and can also boast a highly original technique for, unlike any other dancers in the world, they dance on their toes without the aid of “block” shoes. The female dancers “glide” like swans.
Georgian National Ballet was founded by Iliko Sukhishvili and his wife Nino Ramishvili. They made Georgian dance famous around the world.
Each dance portrays the characteristics of the region in which it originated. The mountain dances differ from valley or lowland dances.