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050524 - Mount AragatsBy Gayane MkrtchyanArmeniaNow
Dance Fever: World’s largest round dance staged for Mount AragatsBy Gayane MkrtchyanArmeniaNow Reporter Beginning yesterday (May 19), all Armenian TV channels have become dance studios. In a matter of speaking. In 25-second clips broadcast several times a day, Armenians are being taught how to do the “Unity Round Dance” for a national show of solidarity to be staged at Mount Aragats on May 28. “TV clips begin like this: ‘On May 28 we dance one step forth and one step back.’ The move will be shown (with the instructor) standing on the sidewalk so that it will be clearer to people,” says National Choreography Union of Armenia Chairman, member of the “Unity Round Dance” organizing committee Karen Gevorgyan. The dance step was chosen from several proposals and takes into account participation by elderly, children and the disabled. And also taking into account that the display will be videotaped from above in a helicopter. Organizers say that 160,000 people making a perimeter of 163 kilometers will take a step forth and then a step back. The move cannot be right and left, since the picture of the dance will not be noticeable and if they move then the circle will be broken. While the movement of the dance was chosen from some 800 Armenian round dances, the idea is unique to Armenia. (see ???) The dance itself is called “Govnd”. Gevorgyan says that the name originated from the Armenian word "gund" meaning an assembly point, unity. The move seems very simple, yet it contains a profound philosophy. This round dance is danced to the accompaniment of special music. All regions of Armenia have their own “govnds”, like kochari. “We borrowed only moves from the dance. And we selected special pieces of music for the Unity Round Dance arranged jointly with specialist on Komitas Artur Shahnazaryan. The sounds of (historical) Armenia’s 11 regions are included. The music of each region will last one minute and 14 seconds,” says Gevorgyan. The music of the Unity Round Dance was called Armenian Colors, that is all the colors of the Armenian upland were used, which helped create a common palette. Gevorgyan explains that the idea of a unity dance is important during this event. It will be the celebration of unity expressed through a dance. Along with dance classes, TV companies will also broadcast the anthem of the Unity Round Dance throughout next week. And from 6 a.m. on May 28, television channels will be periodically showing the routes towards Aragats from Yerevan and other regions and on what bus stops hundreds of coaches will be waiting for participants of the round dance. Gevorgyan says that orange kepis will be distributed among the round dance participants so that they make an orange circle for the cameramen shooting from three helicopters. On May 27, at 10:00 pm, 1,600 fires will be started at the foot of Aragats, and later a fireworks display. The participants in the round dance will arrive at the mountainous stage on May 28, early in the morning. They will form the circle an hour before the actual dance begins. And at 3 o’clock in the afternoon sharp the first 15-minute Unity Round Dance around Mount Aragats will commence. Gevorgyan says that 15 minutes have been chosen to have enough time to solve technical problems. The Guinness Records commission will witness and register the first round dance in the world on such a large scale. “It is an exclusive and unprecedented event. The Hungarians did such a thing with 10,000 people dancing around hand in hand, and they stood in a straight line and not in a circle. This dance symbolizes unity. We do not see such a manly dance, so much grandeur of coordinated moves in other nations’ dances as we see it in Armenian dances. There are few nations in the world that have (multiple) round dances, for example Greeks have only 12 round dances,” says Gevorgyan. Gevorgyan notes that this event is unlikely to become a tradition, as it is rather difficult to organize, but he hopes that the next dance will be around Mount Ararat. “Idea is another matter here. There is a philosophy existing in the world today and it is a complicated principle with a simple logic: if you think of something all the time, it is certain to be fulfilled. If 160,000 people on May 28 make their minds think all the time for a quarter of an hour that they will dance the next unity round dance around Ararat, then it cannot but come true,” says Gevorgyan.


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