My parents were both born in Iran. Genres of dance in Iran vary depending on the area, culture, and language of the local people. The dances can range from sophisticated court dances to energetic folk dances.The population of Iran includes many ethnicities, such as Kurds, Azerbaijanis, Turkmen, Jews, Armenian, and Georgian people. However, in general Iran has four categories of dance: chain or line dances, solo improvisational dance, war or combat dances, and ritual or spiritual dances.
One example of a chain or line dance is Raghse Kurdi. Raghse Kurdi originated during the Medieval era. Kurds are the third largest ethnic group in Iran, so it is without a suprise that they have their own dance. In Raghse Kurdi, or Kurdish Dance in Farsi, the dancers stand in line and hold on to each other. One of the participants wags a handkerchief and sets the rhythm, which is a significant musical characteristic in this dance. The other dancers follow along in small steps. The musical instruments that are used are called dozal, tombak, sorna, and daf which also help with setting the rhythm and tempo. Today, the genre is still tied to my ethnicity. Even though I am not Kurdish, this dance has been made known to all Persians, so in parties and weddings I have been exposed to it and I have seen parents dance to it. It is hard to replicate it nowadays in American events, since the original dancers would wear colorful clothing with bells and handkerchiefs, so we dance in our typical dresses and use napkins instead as improvisation.