Yerevan-6



Photographs with Commentary by Debra Jan Bibel
 


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Dance and musical instrument construction are the focus of today as the tour begins to wind down.


We are now at the Armenian State Pedagogical University where tour facilitator Stephan Gevorgan [right] introduces his brother Karen Gevorgyan [left], the Choreography Chair and President of National Dance Art Union. The Gevorgan's are a cultural family, particularly in dance, with even an academy of dance in California. Students, who will be performing some dances for us. The man at the left with video camera accompanied us throughout the tour, constantly recording videos. There are hours that will need to be edited, and whether we will ever see or obtain copies is moot. I took my own videos, including the dances here. [Personal DVD collection.] The women dancers. Their dance style is fluid and soft with extended arm and hand gestures. Men's dances involve vigorous leg movements and stamping with little upper body action.

As reflected in the mirror, students and tour members. 

Interlude: The fountain in front of the museum.

Down the stairs of a side street building is a basement suite of cramped, poorly lit rooms the workshop of an instrument maker.

Next to Norik is the esteemed woodworker. The wall is covered with numerous specialized tools. On the kitchen table is a recently completed oud. A group of incomplete duduks, just stubs.  Squared sections are 'turned' to smooth cylinders here.
As demonstrated here. Some of the thinner cylinders are destined for shvis. Norik holds a stained duduk lacking the reed mouthpiece. An adjacent room is full of wood pieces. Various spools of wire and fabric.

Wire is wound arround rotating filament.

The supply of lumber.

A qanun zither begins here. A sander. The workshop is essentially familiar territory as my father and grandfather were woodworkers and I grrew up in a similar environment. Two bass ouds. I did not know they even existed! Regular ouds.
Tar lutes, kamenche spiked fiddles and two incomplete viols.
   
Ouds, baglama sazes, a daf frame drum, and an old bass. Some tour members bought a duduk and Norik provides some basic instruction. The reed is thick and difficult to vibrate. Even oboe and recorder players struggled.    
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