April 25, 2017 @ 3:09 PM

Kochari comes from the Persian word GHOOCH, which is a type of goat. In Armenian the word is AEETS. There are a variety of Kocharis and the movements can be traced to the movements of that animal, its gait, its jumps, etc. Over the centuries, the HOVIV (shepherd) has mimicked this animal since a large part of the day he is connected with his herd. There are different styles of Kochari depending on the region. Plains areas find the Kochari to have smaller movements, more foot play; we call that VOTKEE KHAGH. Mountainous areas find the Kochari to have larger steps involving more jumps, larger leaps. Alashgerd Kochari movements are larger than Moosh movements (MSHOO KHRR). Each region finds different syncopations. Enjoy your next Kochar!

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April 25, 2017 @ 3:00 PM

I leave for Armenia May 22. The purpose of the trip is to set up activities for a Japanese tour group I'm organizing in July. The tour will focus on the major Armenian sites plus Armenian song and dance. My Japanese students are very familiar with Armenian song and dance because I've been going to Japan on teaching tours since 1978. The trip will also involve my work with the Karin Dance Group and Gagik Ginosyan. The dates for the Japanese tour group are July 6-13, 2017. We'll be staying at the Hyatt Hotel next to Republic Square. A lot of the Armenian activities will be spontaneous. There are a lot of restaurant with live music plus excursions will always find villagers playing music. Yerevan has many outdoor theaters and the ...

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November 14, 2016 @ 6:44 PM

I'm going to be at the St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church annual festival in Palm Desert, CA all day Saturday, November 19, 2016. Join me for an excellent DJ who will play all our requests. In addition there's excellent food and a place to meet a lot of new friends. See you there.

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November 1, 2016 @ 6:41 PM

I finished at the Armenian High School, Ayb, with a surprise honor acknowledging my knowledge of Armenian traditional dance from Sepastia, Sev Tsov/Hemshen, Gareen (Erzerum/Yerzenga), Shirag (Ghars/Gyumri), Daron (Alashkert/Bitlis/Moosh/Sasoon), Vaspurakan (Van), Shatakh/Moks, Kharbert, and Cheugoosh. It will be over a period of the next several years on my annual trips to Armenia to continue teaching dances from these regions. Don't forget class starts in Glendale Wednesday, November 2. It's not too late to pre-register.

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October 23, 2016 @ 3:40 PM

Saturday we went to the Vernisage, Yerevan's outdoor flea market, and picked up more parts to Armenian costumes. Yerevan's Vernisage has become one of the largest in the territory. Then across the street at the park we had a surprise concert by the Agounk Song and Dance Ensemble. Agounk dances and sings original Daron material. That area covers Moosh, Sasoon, Bitlis, and Alashkert areas. Those areas are now in central east Turkey. Even more surprising we met with Armenian youth who danced the material from those regions while Agounk performed. Those dances were Maeemoongee, Mushookhrr, Mairoke, Ver Veri, and Tomir Agha, etc.The weather was very cold but worth it.

Today, Sunday, we went to the Talin region of Armenia with our ......

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October 19, 2016 @ 9:32 AM

I'm working with Karin Dance Ensemble teaching them Agar Magar, Khumkhuma, Hemshen from Rize, Jurjena and Dzaner Bar from Kharbert, Khorkoum Loorke from Van, and others. On Saturday, October 15 I did dance research in Sisian in Syunik province. I visited my father's family from Shirag province. The weather is very cold and rainy at this time. That doesn't affect my focus. I've also been working with Bert Dance Ensemble and their director, Karin Gevorkyan. My colleauge, Artoosh Karapetyan, professor of Armenian Song and Dance, travels with me. He's now 88 years old and still going strong. Sunday I'll go to the village of Nerkev Bazmabert in the Talin region to do dance research with the Moosh community. Check my ......

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October 14, 2016 @ 4:50 PM

My teaching tour in Holland was very successful. We had good turnouts in the ten cities that we visited. I hadn't been there for ten years. They are still doing Garoon, Ambee Dageets, Sev Acherov Aghcheek, and Khumkhuma. I taught selected dances from CD's 6 and 7.

In Armenia I've been teaching for Karin Dance Ensemble and the State Dance Institute. We go to Sisian tomorrow to check out rural dance. Check my facebook page for videos of my dance activity in Armenia. More updates later.

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