Hamazkayin ‘Sardarabad’ Dance Ensemble Evolves To Eminence

By Helaneh Nighoghosian

November 1, 2012

GLENVIEW, Ill.-It feels like just yesterday that the Hamazkayin
“Sardarabad” Dance Ensemble of Chicago had its first practice in the
Shahnazarian Hall at the All Saints Community Center in Glenview, Ill.

On the evening of Oct. 13, the talented group put on an unforgettable
first performance that warmed the hearts of the audience in a show
dubbed “Dreams of My Land.” Each dancer embodied the mighty strength,
pride, and unity of the Armenian nation, as friends and family members
sat enthralled.

‘Each dancer embodied the mighty strength, pride, and unity of the
Armenian nation.’ (Photo by Maral Sosi Abrahamian) The traditional
“Pert Bar” warmed up the crowd for the different styles of Armenian
dance ahead that night. As the curtain slowly opened, a two-tier pert
(fort, in Armenian) was turned by both female and male dancers. Other
traditional dances included the gracefully constructed all-female dance
“Lori,” and the strength-defining “Kochari,” performed by the male
dancers, which included members from the Detroit Hamazkayin “Arax”
Dance Ensemble.

In addition to the historic dances performed, a unique touch of
Chicago style was portrayed throughout the more contemporary pieces.

The second part of the show opened with an illuminating display of
flashing lights, accompanied by the striking and dramatic melodies
of Ara Gevorgyan’s “Dzovitz Dvoz.” A violet horizon of light casted
the background as the dancers’ silhouettes set the stage for one of
the group’s favorite and original choreography.

The Detroit Hamazkayin “Arax” Dance Ensemble paid a special tribute
to the show. In addition to the powerful and mighty “Kochari,”
the dancers showcased their strong will and character through the
celebratory dance “Donagan,” along with the traditional dance of Van,
titled “Varaka Lerni Bar.”

Exemplifying the virtue and power of the homeland, crimson dresses
flooded the stage with the crowd-pleasing end performance of “Hzor
Hayasdan.” With each move, the dancers represented the strong pride
and vitality of the Armenian nation.

The traditional “Pert Bar” warmed up the crowd for the different
styles of Armenian dance ahead that night. (Photo by Maral Sosi
Abrahamian) The Chicago “Sardarabad” has already performed at a
wide range of events throughout the community. Just a week before
this big performance, the older dancers performed two numbers at an
Armenian-Assyrian wedding, promoting the tradition and culture of
Armenian folk dance to a different group of people. A little over a
year ago, the group also participated in aid for the Armenian Relief
Mission in an effort to raise money for orphaned children in Armenia.

The dancers performed an original dance choreographed by Dance
instructors Houri Papazian and Sona Birazian for an audience comprised
of mostly non-Armenians. Founder Steve Kashian and his wife, Rozik,
were more than pleased with the groups’ accomplishment for carrying
out such a significant cause.

A great deal of cooperation and preparation was required for the
performance to be a success. The Chicago “Sardarabad” chapter extends
a special thank you to Hermine Kholamian (better known as “Mama K”)
for her hard work and beautiful seamstress skills. She has poured
her heart and soul into this organization, and without her, the show
simply could not go on. Audience members that night were able to see
the stage overpowered with elegance and dignity. The members of the
Chicago Hamazkayin group extend a special thanks to those who have
made the show possible.


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