By Talin Kupelian
LODI, N.J. — Shushi Armenian Dance Ensemble delivered what it promised, a magnificent celebration of a trio of 20th anniversaries: that of Armenia’s independence, Karabagh’s independence and the founding of the Shushi Dance Ensemble.
It was a day of flags — Armenian tri-color flags were sprinkled throughout the packed auditorium of Felician College. The ingredients were in place — a packed house, organized volunteers, coordination and cooperation, energetic young dancers, talented musicians, the professional St. Vartan Cathedral Choir with conductor
Khoren Mekanejian and a professional staff of sound engineers and stage managers, the likes of which had not been assembled before. There was a power failure in New Jersey as a result of the Halloween snow. Felician College was also experiencing a power outage.
It was a miracle that the show went ahead as planned. The last two days were a roller coaster for the organizers, but everyone came through with flying colors. With rumors of a cancellation spreading on the Internet, members and parents alike took to Facebook, Twitter, email and any social media network they knew to reassure the public that the show was going to go on as scheduled. Backstage the scene was just as touching. In one corner there was a group of boys teaching a fellow Shushi member the words to a song to make sure he could get on stage to perform confidently. In another room there was a group of young girls holding hands in a circle and praying right before the performance. In the next room, there were a few girls helping each other with their hair and costumes.