A sketch of traditional Dickranakerd costumes

BAYSIDE, N.Y. — When we think of Dikranagerd the first name that comes to mind is Tigranes the Great who ruled as King of Armenia c.95 to c.56 BCE. King Tigranes’ (Dikran) empire stretched from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. He built his capital of Dikranagerd (Tigranocerta) which means built by Dikran, east of what is today the city of Diyarbakir. Prior to 1915, Armenians called this city Dikranagerd.

The Aradzani Dance Group will have a performance of songs and dances from the pre-1915 region of Dikranagerd on April 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Armenian Church of The Holy Martyrs’ Kalustyan Hall, 209-15 Horace Harding Expressway. Musical accompaniment by the Tarpinian Ensemble with vocalists Yeretsgin Karine Malkhasyan and Lisa Tarpinian with John Tarpinian on Ud, Jerry Tarpinian on Dumbeg, Souren Baronian on clarinet and John Malool on Def and Dumbeg. Most of the songs and dances that will be presented are endangered.

In 1915 the Villayet of Diyarbakir or the region of Dikranagerd as Armenians call it was composed of the following Sanjaks or districts and their subregions or Kazas:

1) Sanjak of Diyarbakir: Diarbekir (Amid), Severek (Sev Averag), Direk, Beshiri (Chernig), Slivan (Nprgerd), Lije, Veran-Shehir

2) Sanjak of Arghana-Maden: Palu (Palahovid), Chermik (Chermoug), Arghana-Maden (Arghni)

3) Sanjak of Mardin: Nisibin (Mtspin), Mardin (Mardepert), Jezire (Mezabde), Midyat, Savur.

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In the Villayet of Diyarbakir on the eve of the Genocide there were 106,867 Armenians who lived in 249 localities with 148 churches and 10 monasteries.

The districts of Palu and Chermoug were incorporated in the Diyarbakir Villayet after 1884.

Aradzani will present songs and dances from towns and villages of Palu, Chnkoush, Dikranagerd and Lijeh. At the end of the program there will be a reenactment of a Dikranagerd wedding.

To support this rare presentation of songs and dances by attending. Donation is $20. You can also give your support with a memorial donation in memory of a loved one. For a donation of a $100 or more the name of your loved one will be included in the program under memorial donations you will receive an Aradzani dance DVD and you will receive a complimentary ticket to the event.

If you have family heirlooms such as pictures, embroidery etc. and would like these items presented that day contact Robert at rharout@msn.com

The Aradzani Dance Group of the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs has a repertoire of 120 dances of pre-1915 Historic Armenia. Most of these dances are endangered. To preserve these dances in 2011 and 2013 Aradzani produced two instructional/performance dance DVDs. The DVDs can be found in various bookstores and libraries included in this list are the Library of Congress in Washington DC, the National Library of Armenia and the Gulbenkian Library in Jerusalem etc.


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