Greetings fellow dancers,
I'm back from Armenia after a successful tour with Japanese folk dancers. We stayed at the Hyatt Place hotel. Accommodations were excellent. We went on three excursions; first to Echmiadzin/Khor Virap including Sts. Hripsime and Gayane cathedrals. I'm always overwhelmed by the Badarak and the choir. We finished the excursion at Zvartnots ruins. We had an excellent English speaking guide and of course my Japanese organizer translated everything into Japanese. Our mini-buses were comfortable and air conditioned. Then we went on another day to Tsitsernakabert monument and museum. All photographs are captioned in Armenian, Russian, and English.
Then we went to Matenadaran, ancient book depository followed by the Erebouni fortress and finished at the Ararat Cognac Factory with an excellent tour guide. The final excursion was to Garni/Gerhard. We had an excellent excursion guide and driver. On every excursion we found a place to dance. My Japanese tourists know me and all the dances we performed. Armenians were very happy to see their dancing. They were very surprised. We also went to restaurants where we danced; always live music. We visited the Sardarabad Army Ensemble and they did a special performance for us and then my tourists danced a Japanese dance for them. We had several dance lessons including the Agounk Song and Dance Ensemble and Ginosyan's Karin group. I also taught and am now working with the Agounk Dance Ensemble.
My favorite evening was at the Yerevan Bantok restaurant where Agounk was performing. It was spontaneous dancing and they are adding more and more of my program to their performances; Sepo, Hoy Nar, Loorke, Khumkhuma, Agar Magar, etc. It appears this is going to be a regular occurrence. Check my Facebook page for some nice footage. See you August 2 at the Karavan Dance Studio for my 4 week Summer Dance Course.