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<small>Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble
Irrisistable or what?</small>
The Centre for Peacemaking and Community Development (CPCD), a British NGO working in Chechnya, presents: DAIMOHK—CHECHEN CHILDREN'S DANCE ENSEMBLE
Bringing an inspirational message of joy and hope out of a war zone.
4-5 July Barbican Plymouth
8-10 July Riverside Studios London
(full tour details at bottom)
From the bombed-out city of Grozny where they live in unremitting conditions of war, 33 children are touring Europe with their breathtaking ancient and dynamic dances, performing to packed houses and standing ovations. Ramzan Akhmadov, former star of the Chechen National Ballet, directs these exceptional children in the traditional dances of the Caucasus region, from graceful, kaleidoscopic formations to energising acrobatics, somersaults and sword-throwing. The children perform to the mesmerizing accompaniment of traditional drums and balalaikas. The dynamic performances are the most remarkable message to come out of a war zone.
Dispersed by war to border camps, outlying villages and the basement shelters of Grozny, CPCD has helped to reunite the dancers for Daimohk's 2003 European tour. The children, cultural ambassadors of Chechnya, astonish audiences with the vitality and sheer professionalism of their dancing and musical talents. In the context of war, cultural affirmation is for the children both a defence and a release. Director Ramzan Akhmadov explains that Daimohk allows the children who form the ensemble to express their emotion through music and dance: 'through dance we explode, we let ourselves go'.
CPCD, who offer support to victims of conflict in the North Caucasus through a variety of projects, have partnered Daimohk since 2000. Chris Hunter, General Director of CPCD is available for interview, together with Daimohk's Director Ramzan Akhmadov and CPCD colleague Camilla Carr, who travelled to Chechnya in 1997 to set up a centre for traumatised children. Captured and held hostage in Grozny for 14 months, Camilla drew on her memories of young dancers from Grozny during her captivity. 'The memory of the dignity and courage of the dancing children of Chechnya helped me survive', explains Camilla.
Jane Birkin, of Je t'aime fame, was so inspired that within two days of first seeing Daimohk she organized a sell-out performance at the Théâtre du Soleil in Paris, and continues to support and promote the group. Tour details
4-5 July 7.30 Barbican Plymouth
Box office: 01752 267 131
8-10 July 7.45 Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London
Box office: 020 8237 1111
For more details about the Company contact:
Hannah Whitley, Daimohk European Tour Coordinator, CPCD:
Tel/fax: 0208 374 14 64
Mobile: 07814 938 005