Thursday, July 20, 2006
The Sayat-Nova Ensemble of song, dance, and Armenian music of the Iraqi Armenian General Benevolent Union was set up in Baghdad in 1992. The director of the ensemble Sedrak Sedrakyan told the Karabakh Open that in 1992 the ensemble took part in the annual Babylon Festival in Iraq held by the Iraqi Ministry of Culture. There was another song and dance ensemble from Armenia, which represented Armenia to the festival for the first time. This was the biggest Armenian participation in the festival, which was highly appreciated by the organizers of the festivals, critics and audience.Sedrakyan said the ensemble including 75 persons, both men and women, participated in the annual festivals of the IAGBU, as well as the celebrations of the 85th and 90th anniversaries of the Union.After the capture of Iraq in 2003 the ensemble was closed down, and was reopened last year with 40 people, without a dance group, which will be opened in the nearest future.With regard to the plans of the ensemble, Sedrakyan said in the upcoming months the ensemble is invited to Aleppo, Syria by the local Armenian Catholic Community to give a concert for the benefit of orphans and the poor. In November the ensemble will perform during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the AGBU. Besides, Sedrakyan said, they will perform in Kurdistan, the northern province of Iraq together with the Iraqi symphonic orchestra. If successful, the Iraqi symphonic orchestra will perform world classic music beside Armenian ethnic music. Among the problems the ensemble faces Sedrakyan pointed to instability and martial law in the country, which impacts the activities of the ensemble. There is also a problem of funding, which is solved by donations of benefactors.
Special report for the Karabakh Open
Note: I wrote the article in Armenian which was translated to English by the Artsakhi website: