Khorkom/Van - Papouree (dance)

06/06/23 (Last modified 06/06/23)

This section of our website aims to document and share performances of various traditional Armenian dances that have been preserved by Diasporan communities in the United States. To this end, Houshamadyan is partnering and collaborating with a group of Armenian dance experts who have produced appropriate dance notations for documentation. This group consists of Carolyn Rapkievian (of Bar Harbor, Maine), Susan and Gary Lind-Sinanian (of Watertown, Massachusetts), Tom Bozigian (of Los Angeles, California), and Robert Haroutunian (Sunyside, NY).

Papouree (Papuri, Pamphorig, Pomporee, Pompoureeg) is a dance with regional variations, danced throughout Van, the plain of Moush, Bitlis, Sasoun, and much of the Armenian Highlands. There are multiple versions of the pronunciation and thus the spelling of the name of this dance. According to Tom Bozigian, its name with "m" may come from the spoken emphasis while stamping in the dance, "Pamp, Pamp, Pamporee".

This version of Papouree is a traditional men’s dance from the village of Khorkom (present-day Dilkaya). The dance was originally introduced to the Armenian Folk Dance Society of New York in 1939 by Arshag Mouradian, uncle of the famous painter Arshile Gorky (Adoian).  It continues to be danced in mixed lines in Armenian diaspora communities throughout the US and has been added to the repertoire of dance groups in the Republic of Armenia.

Sources: Margaret Tellalian Kyrkostas, Eddie Keosian, Arsen Anoushian, Hourig Sahagian, John & Sossy Kadian, Harout Derderian.

Formation: this Papouree has three sections: The first is danced in an open circle with the leader to the right, dancers hold little fingers with hands at shoulder height. The second section is danced in a circle, holding hands with straight arms swinging. In the third section, hands are on the hips.

Rhythm: 2/4, 6/8, 2/4.

Papouree - Dance | Demonstration and Tutorial