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Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:02 am ]
Post subject:  Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble




<small>Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble
Irrisistable or what?</small>

Press Release

The Centre for Peacemaking and Community Development (CPCD), a British NGO working in Chechnya, presents:


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


<small>[ 03 July 2003, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

djb wrote elsewhere on the Board:

posted 03 July 2003 12:30 PM
In San Francisco, there's a children's dance group that performs dances from the Caucasus region (Georgia), directed by an emigre Georgian dancer. Even that group does some impressive dancing, so the dancing in Daimohk must be amazing.

<small>[ 03 July 2003, 12:58 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

I hope to see this Company next week and I understand your mention of Georgian dance djb. It was the first thought that occurred to me when I saw the images above.

<small>[ 03 July 2003, 01:01 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  djb [ Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

Some of the little boys in the SF group were real performers. Years ago, I saw a program on TV called "Portrait of the Soviet Union," which had a segment on the Georgian state folk ensemble. Some of the kids in that were almost as flashy as the adults. I wish I could see the group from Chechnya.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jul 08, 2003 9:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

Just a reminder that the Riverside season kicks off tonight and runs till Thursday evening. Everything I hear about this dance group is good, so do make the effort if you are free.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

I saw Daimohk tonight and it was a very impressive evening of dance with extraordinary skill and great energy on display from the children and choreography of a higher standard than is usual at folklorique performances. At the end, the Company received a standing ovation from the entire audience , a much more unusual occurrence in the UK than it is in the US.

This will be one of the stand-out dance shows of 2003 for me.

<small>[ 18 June 2004, 04:05 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

Tour programme 2004

Llangollen International Eisteddfod
6th July, 10:30am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm - Children's Day concerts

7th July, 7:30pm - Window on the World concert

8th July, from 9:00am in Children's dance competition

South West England
9, 12, 14, 15th July at Wyedean School, Chepstow

7:30pm at Edgehill College, Bideford

7:30pm at Budehaven School, Bude

7:30pm at Budehaven School, Bude

Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, London

7:30, 18, 19th July


To be announced

For more information go to Daimohk's website.

<small>[ 18 June 2004, 04:53 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Jul 19, 2004 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble


The wonderful Daimohk are at The Royal Opera House (Linbury Theatre) tonight (19th July). Don't know about ticket availability, but if you have the chance, do go. It might just be the most enjoyable and resonant dance presentation you see this year.

Here is the link to the information page on the ROH website.

<small>[ 19 July 2004, 02:32 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Patricia Somerset [ Thu Jul 22, 2004 3:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

Daimohk - 19th July 2004 at the Linbury Studio Theatre. Daimohk started this UK tour by winning a first prize at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, no meant achievement given the very high standards required for this competition. Last Monday, they demonstrated their prize-winning abilities in an evening of breathtaking dance. The dance part of the programme consisted of 12 dances based on traditional Chechen themes, choreographed by Aiza Akhmadova and strongly influenced by the techinical expertise of classical dance. The well-chosen programme alternated slower dances with fast dynamic ones, which were mostly danced by the boys. Set against a plain black backdrop, the costumes were wonderfully colourful and contributed greatly to the visual pleasure of the performance. The music was played on an accordian, drum and traditional stringed instruments and was partiularly effective when accompanying the faster dances. The boys strutted their stuff admirably - and what stuff it was! They strode around the stage, tossing their heads, shouting and often building up to a maelstrom of whirling, leaping to their knees, spinning and intricate footwork, - sometimes on their toes. First this was performed by the older boys and then the much younger ones joined them, spinning and leaping with as much panache as the others. The Shepherd's dance in contrast provided some knockabout humour, but all performed to the same high standard.

The girls' dances were slower and elegant, performed with fast, small steps unseen beneath flowing skirts so that the impression was one of gliding. This was accompanied by graceful hand movements. Often the visual appeal was in the shapes formed by the dancers coming together and moving as one. Once again when the little girls joined the older ones they showed that they could dance with equal dignity and poise. In Syuli Khelkhar,however, all the girls showed their ability to dance with fast, intricate footwork in this lively Dagestani dance, the excitement being increased by their accompanying screams.

As if they hadn't displayed enough talent with their dancing, the programme also included 2 instrumental pieces and 2 songs. The first of the instrumental pieces was a group of about 6 playing the traditional stringed instruments and a drummer and accordionist. The second was a group of about 8 drummers, who not only played their own drums, but also each others' and then tossed and spun the drums, - so they can juggle as well! The songs were sung by Aminat Akhmadova who had a lovely, clear, soprano voice.

When it came to the finale, it was difficult to imagine what Daimohk could possibly do to provide a fitting climax to such a thrilling evening's entertainment. However, they managed to take it all a step further, with the boys not only leaping and spinning, but at the same time sword fighting. The clash of the swords sent sparks flying! When the girls joined them the pace was slowed as the stage was filled with all the dancers, in co-ordinating costumes dancing a proud, stately dance. Unsurprisingly Daimohk received a standing ovation.

The speeches at the end reminded us that the children and young people from this company come from war-torn Grozny and their lives are filled with uncertainty and deprivation. We needed reminding after watching such an energetic, high quality and joyful performance. It was a very special show.

<small>[ 25 July 2004, 03:37 AM: Message edited by: Patricia Somerset ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

Your description brings back my own experience of Daimohk, Patricia. I am disappointed to have missed their visit, but your review has ensured this year's UK performances of this extraordinary company will not be forgotten.

As you say, no surprise that they won first prize at the Eisteddford - if any group had beaten Daimohk, I might have changed my plans and come back to see such a wonder.

Daimohk continue to be heavily dependent on overseas support to continue performing to these high standards. Just think about the elaborate costumes and growing children....

Here is the link to order the superb video "Danz Grodzny Danz", T-shirts etc or to make a donation:

Dance Europe had a glowing review last year, but it is a great shame that, as far as I am aware, none of the UK national press have reviewed Daimohk, to date.

<small>[ 15 March 2005, 07:19 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  cendrine [ Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

Patricia S , Do you want to join me please ? :)

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

This week's Times Ed (the leading weekly for all things educational in the UK) has a long article about Daimohk's residence in a school on the border of England and Wales. Only the the first part is available on their website, but it's still worth a quick look.

Steps from a war zone
By Elaine Williams for The Times Educational Supplement

The girl silhouetted in the sports hall doorway is a will-o’-the-wisp. No more than eight years old, her tiny frame is mercurial in its fluidity as she dances a breathtaking arabesque in the streaming sunlight. But there is strength and assurance in this young body.

She turns to look at the sober adolescents lined up behind her, their faces grave with concentration as they try to follow her quicksilver movements.

click for more

Author:  cendrine [ Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

2005 tour in UK :)

and european tour :

<small>[ 16 April 2005, 12:16 PM: Message edited by: cendrine ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Daimohk - Chechen Children's Dance Ensemble

Thanks a lot cendrine. Will you be seeing them this time? I have the Linbury dates in London in my diary.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:45 am ]
Post subject: 

As Daimohk prepares for this year's European tour, their website has gathered together a series of articles and video clips about this dynamic company:

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