BAYSIDE, N.Y. — The 10th anniversary of the Yeraz Dance Ensemble took place before a standing room only, cheering audience at the Queensborough Community College on Sunday afternoon, December 6.
The 90-strong group of dancers ranging in age from 5 to 23, put on a bravura performance of more than 25 numbers which generated such enthusiasm that the capacity audience leapt to its feet at its conclusion, hoping for more.
Dressed in beautiful handmade colorful Armenian costumes, the girls demonstrated their delicate hand and fluid arm movements, and the boys their virile and powerful acrobatics. Their progression as dancers was demonstrated from the youngest to the older performers. They delighted the crowd in the numbers “Shalakho,” “Garden Dance,” the exceptional “Hayotz Yeghnig” and the inspirational “Candle Dance,” which combined both the very young and the older dancers.
Many memorable numbers stood out, including the graceful movements by the females in “Ouzoundara,” “Harsnatsouneri Bar” and “Gagach,” a dance of floating flowers. The interplay between a 6-year-old girl and an older dancer was scintillating in “Illusion,” with both dressed in identical bridal gowns.
The men were not to be outdone. They showed their male prowess in “Hovivner,” “Sardarabad” and “Gindo’s,” a flirtatious number with the men’s attention focused on one female. Among the men, Shant Simonian stood out for his exceptional professionalism and versatility.
Among the most exceptional numbers was “Musa Ler,” outstanding for the fluid body movements and coordination by the twelve men and women, and the modern “Ov Hayotz Ashkhar.” The concluding number, the moving victorious dance Artashat with the whole troupe performing, had the men forming acrobatic towers, and the women complementing them with their typical grace. It virtually brought the house down.