GEORGIAN CLOISONNE ENAMEL MINANKARI
Georgiais famous for its art of color and boundless energy. For many centuries it was amazing symbiosis of Georgian, European and Oriental influences. At the XIX century was the recovery and development of Georgian culture with the recreation of unique technology of the past and developing new. This happened with the famous jewelry Georgian Cloisonné enamel Minankari.
This jewelry of amazing beauty hit with incredible subtlety of color solutions. The method itself remains unchanged for twelve centuries, and its cost is not less than jewelry made of precious metals and stones. Cloisonné – labor-intensive and complicated technique of enameling, not amenable to mechanization.
According to the earliest survived examples the art of Georgian cloisonné enamel has no less than 1200 years of existence. Today, the once abandoned traditions are gaining immense importance, people again and again turning to the ancient works, finding new ways that will eventually necessarily determine its rightful place in the development of Georgian culture.
NOTE: Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments (cloisons in French) to the metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln.
Cloisonné first developed in the jewelry of the ancient Near East, typically in very small pieces such as rings, with thin wire forming the cloisons. In the jewelry of Ancient Egypt, including the pectoral jewels of the Pharaohs, thicker strips form the cloisons, which remain small. InEgyptgemstones and enamel-like materials sometimes called "glass-paste" were both used. Cloisonné spread to surrounding cultures and a particular type, often known as garnet cloisonné is widely found in the Migration Period art of the "barbarian" peoples ofEurope, who used gemstones, especially red garnets, as well as glass and enamel, with small thick-walled cloisons
Georgians are renowned for their love of dance and music. Georgian dance is generally characterized by the graceful floating gait of the female dancers. With bodies erect and leaning very slightly forward, the women create lovely formations and turns in an appearance that has been said to form the illusion of ice skating along the floor. The hand, arm and head movements are flowing and gentle while traveling in this quick floating manner. The modern dress is commonly a floor length gown fitted at the torso and long sleeved, in a solid usually pastel color. A type of pillbox hat is worn with a veil attached to the back, probably a remnant of the Islamic veil. The most characteristic element of the male Georgian dance is the acrobatic, or gymnastic movements including knee spins, aerial cartwheels, splits and kicks and many other such feats. Unique in folk-dancing tradition, Georgian male performers dance on their toes without the help of special blocked shoes. The most amazing to most viewers is the fast and varied manner of dancing on the knuckles of the toes. The dancers wear soft soled boots and often jump continually on the toe knuckle, with the body straight and strong, the arms in a very heroic posture, the men often shout or proudly stare as they do this spectacular feat. It is said that it is done in preparation for battle, to show virility to the commanding officer and others. The men's costuming consists of a long, almost knee length jacket with long sleeves which are sometimes rolled up or may hang well below the hand. Two of the most prominent features of the Georgian men's costuming is the tall fur hat and the eight little pockets on each side of the jacket breast, containing ammunition cartridges. The colors for the jacket are usually dark often black, gray, brown or a dark red often adorned with medals or braid or gold trim, with dark tight fitting pants, dark shirt and the straight leather boots.
Example Dances of Georgia
Kartuli – The dance Kartuli many times reminds the audience of a wedding . Kartuli is a truly romantic dance. It is performed by a dance couple and incorporates the softness and gracefulness of a woman and dignity and love of a man. It shows that even in love, men uphold their respect and manners by not touching the woman and maintaining a certain distance from her. The man’s eyes are always focused on his woman partner as if she was the only being in the whole world. He keeps his upper body motionless at all times. The woman keeps her eyes downcast at all times and glides on the rough floor as a swan on the smooth surface of a lake. The utmost skill, which is necessary to perform Kartuli, has earned the dance a reputation of one of the most difficult dances.
Khorumi – This war dance has originated in the region of Adjara. The dance was originally performed by only a few man. In today’s version of Khorumi, thirty or forty dancers can participate. Although the number of performers changed, the content of the dance is still the same. The dance brings to life Georgian army of the past centuries. A few men who are searching the area for a campsite and enemy camps perform the initial “prelude” to the dance. Afterwards, they call the army onto the battlefield. The exit of the army is quite breathtaking. Its strength, simple but distinctive movements and the exactness of lines create a sense of awe on stage. The dance incorporates in itself the themes of search, war, and the celebration of victory as well as courage and glory of Georgian soldiers.
Adjaruli – Adjaruli has also originated in the region of Adjara. It is where the dance gets its name from. Adjaruli is distinguished from other dances with its colorful costumes and the playful mood that simple but definite movements of both men and women create on stage. The dance is characterized with graceful, soft, and playful flirtation between the males and females. Unlike Kartuli, the relationship between men and women in this dance is more informal and lighthearted. Adjaruli instills the sense of happiness in both the dancer and the audience.
In 2004, famous Nina Ananiashvili, the luminous ballet dancer of the Bolshoi and American Ballet Theatre, took over the leadership of the Georgian State Ballet in her hometown of Tbilisiand became an artistic Director of the National Ballet Ensemble of Georgia. Famous Georgian
choreographers such as George Balancine (1904 – 1983) and Vakhtang Chabukiani (1919 – 1992) are highly regarded inGeorgia as well as abroad, have made significant contributions to the nation’s ballet culture.
Although the Georgian art of mosaic was inspired and influenced by Byzantine tradition, some of the stylistic features of the mosaic suggest its affinity with the Georgian painting school. The number of mosaics adorning medieval Georgian churches is very limited and those which have survived are in fragments. It is only the mosaic at Gelati, the unique masterpiece of the first half of the 12th century, which has preserved its original integrity.
In the rest of Europe, mosaic went into general decline throughout the middle ages. Georgians restored old techniques are combined with the modern micro-mosaic making skills that result into the inimitable high-class jewelry.
Making mosaics is highly complicated and positive process. At first, cubes of colored smalta are broke up into smaller pieces. Then, they are softened in open fire, shaped, and cut. Finally, tiny parts of mosaic are inlayed to make precious jewelry.