Asadour Hadjian is originally from Syria. He now lives in Australia and has been the Director and dance instructor (choreographer) of the Hamazkayin Sydney dance group (named "Sevan") since its formation three years ago.
During the "One Nation, One Culture" pan-Armenian festivities taking place in Armenia and Karabakh this summer (23-30 June 2006), his group of 50 dancers was one of the cultural highlights in the Armenian capital and other locations where they performed.
Taking the opportunity, Hadjian attempted to broaden the experience of the young dancers. This is why he will accompany the group to Aleppo, with the aim of introducing them to this traditional Armenian community in the northern part of Syria.
Some of the members of the dancing group originally hail from Aleppo, like Asadour Hadjian himself. On 7th July 2006, "Sevan" will perform in the hall of the "Grtasiradz Cultural Association". The local Hamazkayin dancing group (named Sartarabad) will be joining forces, thus adding more attraction to this already upscale event.
"Yerkir" Armenian website has conducted the following interview with Asadour Hadjian (see material posted on 01 July 2006 at www.yerkir.am):
Question: When was Hamazkayin's Australian "Sevan" dance group created?
Asadour Hadjian: The dance group was formed in 2003 with the initiative of Hamazkayin's Sevan branch. The mission of the branch is to contribute to the cultural life of the Armenian community in Australia. There are 180 dancers in the group today. The age range of dancers is 6-30 years. These are all amateur dancers. The groups can only rehearse once a week. We usually use music written by Armenian composers for our dance performances.
Question: Where did you receive your professional education?
Asadour Hadjian: I studied in Aleppo. I was Abraham Kostanian's student. Then I continued my studies in Armenia with Azat Gharibian.
Question: Please tell us about your activities in Sydney. What performances have you had there?
Asadour Hadjian: Our groups have participated in a number of international festivals. We were invited by the Sydney Ballet to teach them an Armenian dance. Our groups have an annual performance for the Armenian community in Australia. Last year our group performed together with Ara Gevorgian in Sydney. We also participated in the performance of Anush Opera directed by Araks Mansurian.
END OF THE INTERVIEW
Administrative director of the group Levon Demirian told about how the idea of the participation was realized:
"Since we needed a lot of money to come to Armenia to participate in the festival, the assistance of the Armenian community in Sydney and our benefactors was very important. With their assistance 50 members of our dance group could participate in the pan-Armenian festival. Participation in the festival was a good opportunity for our young people to visit their homeland and be exposed to the Armenian culture. I have to comment on a very painful issue. During the festival there were many instances when our culture was presented in foreign languages. I hope such incidents will not be repeated in the future.
We had folk dances in our program. We performed in Vanadzor, Dilijan, Sevan, Ashtarak, Cascade and the Opera Theater. We performed two dances at the closing concert on June 30 together with Ara Gevorgian which is a big honor for us. By the way, we are the only dance group from the Diaspora that had the honor of performing at the opening ceremony".
The group performed also in Stepanakert, Artsakh on 2 July 2006. On their way back they will performance in Aleppo on 7 July 2006 and Damascus in the following day. There will be a performance in Beirut on 11 July 2006.
Demirian said that all their expectations were justified and the youngsters were very enthusiastic about their performances. He expressed his thanks to dance instructor Asadour Hadjian who built up the team in three years time.
We wish Asadour Hadjian organizes another mission to Armenia during the next festival, with the participation of new set of dancers. On their way back they can easily combine this trip with a stop in Dubai, to perform in front of the Armenian community here.