Maral Music and Dance Ensemble, the Anatolian and Armenian folk dance group founded by Benon Kuzubaş in 1980, performed in Istanbul Convention Center for the occasion of its 40th anniversary.
Jbid İskenderoğlu Kalaycı was the host of the performance, which was prepared by Garbis Çapkan, the General Art Director of the Group. The dance group which is composed of 180-member of various age groups, was accompanied by a 12-member orchestra consisting of soloist Edgar Khachadrian coming from Armenia and conductor Hayk Krikorian. In the show which consisted of two parts, 21 songs including Nazani, Nubar Nubar, Gülümcan and Nor Bar were performed.
His Eminence the Patriarch of Armenians of Turkey Sahak II Mashalyan, Armenian Catholic Archbishop Levon Zekiyan, Chairman of the Spiritual Council of the Armenian Patriarchate Archpriest Tatul Anushyan, Archbishop Aram Ateshyan, clerics, deputy Sezgin Tanrikulu, Sisli Mayor Muammer Keskin, community foundation presidents, board members and members of the press attended the performance.
Tatul Anusyan, the Chairman of the Religious Council stated that societies interested in art are better integrated and said: “Art is a very important phenomenon that brings people together as the great leader Atatürk said. The contribution of Maral Music and Dance Group to our country is much higher than the success of Maral for us and we are pleased that Maral is a part of the mosaic of cultures of Anatolia.”
At the end of the performance which received great admiration from the audience, 85. Patriarch of Armenians His Eminence Sahak II Mashalyan congratulated the whole group, trainers, managers and guest artists from Armenia and expressed the difficulty of keeping such groups alive, which is as difficult as creating them. He also emphasized the importance of the support of the Armenian community and wished success of the dance group.