In reality, it’s difficult to define whether rope walking is a craft, art, or just a culture, but whatever we call it you will hardly meet rope walkers nowadays. There were times when the rope walker was the inseparable part of every traditional celebration, but now the rope walkers are only met in old films and stories.
Tightrope walking was common in Armenia starting from the medieval period, is in danger of being forgotten in the country, according to the celebrated tightrope artist, magician, writer, Culture Figure of Armenia Vladimir Hakobyan.
Tightrope walking is the skill of maintaining balance while walking along a tensioned wire between two points. It can be done either using a balancing tool such as umbrella, balance pole, or “freehand”, using only one’s body to maintain balance. Typically, tightrope walking performances either include dance or object manipulation.
It fails to develop in Armenia since people cannot offer free performances given their financial condition. But this genre will boost in case of state support.
The technique to maintain balance is to keep the performer’s center of mass above their support point, usually their feet.
The Last Tightrope Dancers in Armenia are Zhora, and Knyaz, who were once the most celebrated tightrope dancers in Armenia.
Today they are the only masters who can keep this art alive against the currents of contemporary society.