RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan receives members of New York’s Shushi Dance Ensemble

On July 7, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received members of the Shushi Dance Ensemble of the St. Vartan Armenian Church of New York.

Greeting the guests, the minister attached importance to the dance ensemble’s efforts and particularly mentioned the following: “I would like to thank all the members of the dance ensemble for preserving and helping develop Armenian dance and culture and presenting them to the world. Preservation of the Armenian identity is the Armenian nation’s key objective. Today, 7 million Armenians face the issue of preserving the national identity. We must fight for the preservation of our roots, identity, type and culture. There are over 30,000 Armenian organizations around the world, and their key objective is to preserve the Armenian identity. The Shushi Dance Ensemble helps young Armenians preserve their national identity, and it does this wonderfully. One of the keys to preserving the Armenian identity is national dance, especially in the Armenian Diaspora where dance is one of the powerful “weapons” for preservation of the Armenian identity that can not only help best preserve the national qualities, but also make Armenian arts and history loved and recognizable among nations with different cultures.”

Praising the pro-national efforts of the ensemble’s artistic director Seta Paskalian-Kandardjian in the spheres of arts and culture and her unconditional dedication to the preservation and dissemination of Armenian dance, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan presented her with the Komitas Medal of the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

Member of the Shushi Dance Ensemble’s executive committee Talin Kupelian and the ensemble’s supporter Sossi Setrakian were granted certificates of appreciation for their notable contributions to the preservation of the Armenian identity and the strengthening of cultural ties between Armenians in Armenia and in the Diaspora.

In 1992, young Armenians of New York consolidated around the St. Vartan Armenian Church and established a dance ensemble, which was named “Shushi” on the occasion of the third anniversary of the independence of the Artsakh Republic in 1995. The dance ensemble is highly recognized and has given several concerts around the world, especially in the Near East and South Africa. In 2013, Shushi Dance Ensemble was elected a member of the International Dance Council officially recognized by the UNESCO.

On July 5, Shushi Dance Ensemble of the St. Vartan Armenian Church of New York gave a concert dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide at Alexander Spendiaryan National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet in Yerevan. The concert featured performances by 65 dancers from New York and California.

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