Master classes as the festival phenomenon

The “My Armenia” Pan-Armenian Festival serves as not only a test to see how Armenian ensembles of the Diaspora perform, but also serves as a unique “school” and “laboratory” for all the participants. It is known that not all Diaspora Armenian communities have professional educators to give lessons for the members of the ensembles and not all communities have the chance to invite experts from Armenia, but they all have the great desire to sing and dance. Several ensembles are created not for professional purposes, but out of love and with the need to show the aspirations of the participants.

The festival serves as a way of helping the participants take short-term master classes and receive professional advice. For that, the Ministry of Diaspora has established cooperation with the Department of Dance of the Faculty of Culture at the Armenian State Pedagogical University after Khachatur Abovyan, which is under the direction of candidate of pedagogical sciences, Honored Cultural Figure of the Republic of Armenia Karen Gevorgyan. The latter and the professors of the Department have developed interesting methodological programs that will help introduce the Armenian dance ensembles of the Diaspora to the characteristics of Armenian dance, the elements in national dance, as well as the features of folk and ethnographic dances.

These days there’s a lot of commotion in the rehearsal rooms of the Department. The participants of the master classes are excited since they have the opportunity to receive professional advice and work with skilful dance instructors. This guarantees that the participants of the festival will apply their knowledge in their performance and will preserve the features of national dance upon their return to their respective communities, especially since the notions of Armenian dance haven’t been too clear in the Diaspora, and the elements of foreign dances have been introduced in national dances, making them less unique.

Thus, the cultural programs of the Ministry of Diaspora are becoming more and more substantial and goal-oriented, and training and cognition lie at the core of those programs. This is also aimed at preserving the Armenian identity and the image of Armenians.


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