Dance: Armenians Present Armenians

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One of the extraordinary aspects about last night’s opening at Carnegie Hall of the Armenian State Dance Ensemble from the Soviet Union is that the troupe is being presented on its first tour of the United States by representatives of the Armenian‐American comunity.

The tour is backed financially by a Californian of Armenian descent, John Kurkjian, who has a strong interest in disseminating the culture of a people whom a history of persecution has scattered, tragically, through out the world. Acting as impresario for the Soviet company’s engagements, is Edward K. Boghosian, owner of The Armenian Reporter, an English language newspaper published in Queens.

It was no surprise to see Americans of Armenian descent—from Arlene Francis to Edward Costikyan‐turn out in full force for the first of three performances the ensemble will give, through Sunday afternoon. It was extraordinary, however — in view of his rare attendance at other dance performances —to see that American of Georgian descent, George Balanchine, in one of the first rows.

There is no question but that the debut here of the State Dance Ensemble of Armenia was an event.

This is, after the Georgian State Dance Ensemble, one of the largest non‐Russian dance companies to come here from the Soviet Union, and it has been accompanied on this first tour by the Soviet Armenian Deputy Minister of Culture, Shavarsh Vartoumian. Given the strong national ties maintained by Armenians throughout the world, the interest in the troupe may not be purely artistic.

The New York Times

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