GLENDALE—On Sunday, February 12, the AYF and People for People Foundation are teaming up to host a free, one-time-only celebration featuring Armenia’s award-winning Karin Folk Song & Dance Ensemble. The free public event will be held from 6:30-10 PM in the St. Mary’s Armenian Church lot (500 S. Central Ave., Glendale.
Under the guidance of the leader of the ensemble, Gagik Ginosyan, and members of the group, attendees will have the chance to join together and directly take part in the traditional Armenian dances of their forefathers.
“When the People for People Foundation approached us about this event, we found it to be an excellent opportunity to expose true Armenian talent and unite the community around our cultural traditions,” says Khachig Joukhajian, a member of the AYF involved in the event’s organizing. “To have Karin perform in Glendale like they do to huge crowds in Yerevan is really very exciting. I think we’re very fortunate.”
The Karin Folk Ensemble has spent the last ten years collecting the “lost” traditional dances of Armenia, passed down through generations by common people in villages and towns throughout country. They have been teaching and performing these dances in Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk, and throughout the world, winning countless awards and accolades in the process. Most recently, the group won first place at the 14th Annual World Folk Dance Festival in Palma De Mallorca, Spain.
“They’re not just an ordinary song and dance group,” explains Mona Mkrtchyan, founder of People for People Foundation and the main spearhead behind Karin’s first-ever visit to the United States. “They are preserving Armenian folk dance in its purity and awakening the Armenian spirit in each and every one of us. It is their love and value for our nation, homeland and countrymen that makes their performances truly powerful and unique.”
In addition to celebrating unity through dance, attendees will be able to enjoy booths, food, and live music throughout the night. Members of the ensemble will also be discussing the meaning of each dance for the audience, many of them with Western Armenian roots. They will be providing insight into the Armenian heritage embedded in the traditional choreography.
Sunday’s event is being held on the occasion of the traditional Armenian holiday of Trndez (or Tyarndarach), which is celebrated every year on the eve of February 14th . St. Mary’s Armenian Church will host an official observation of the holiday for the entire community the following evening, Monday, February 13.
Participants of all ages are encouraged to attend this community celebration and reconnect with the deep-seated roots of Armenian culture.