The Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston (SNDC) is eagerly preparing for a cultural extravaganza on Nov. 22 that will feature the debut performance of Armenia’s beloved singer and songwriter Alla Levonyan.
With her charismatic voice and talent, Levonyan has charmed Armenians the world over as she’s performed folk songs with her unique interpretation, as well as her own songs.
An award-winning vocalist, she first performed in 1993 when she participated and was awarded first place in the Bohem awards for her song “Odaragan.” In 1994, she entered the State Song Theater of Armenia. For three consecutive years (1997-99), she was a winner in the “Ayo” annual awards for her “Hayasdan,” “Es em” (I am), and “Hoy-Nar” songs. She also participated in the festival of Armenian Jazz held in Paris and in Las Vegas as part of the “Armenian Stars Night” in December 2008. Sharing the stage with other popular artists such as Nune Yesayan and Andy Madadian, she dazzled the more than 2,000 attendees with her beautiful voice, and traditional and jazzy folk songs.
In 2007, she was appointed the UNICEF Armenia Goodwill Ambassador, joining the ranks of 200 celebrities around the world who have partnered with UNICEF to advocate for children’s rights. “Before this appointment I was responsible for my two children only,” she said. “Now my responsibility has grown to embrace all children of Armenia. I will do what I can to bring more attention to children’s issues.”
Appropriately, during this cultural afternoon, students from the Abaka Armenian School for the Performing Arts in Watertown, Mass., will take part in the program. “They are very excited to meet Alla and show her their own talents,” said Apo Ashjian, the principal and director of the school. “It is so rewarding to see the eager eyes and big smiles on their faces as they try to master some of the difficult steps. They are rehearsing very hard and I am so proud of them.”
Also taking part in the festivities will be the energetic and popular Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston. Founded in 1986, the group continues to stay true to its mission “to preserve and promote Armenian culture.” To this end, the troupe will showcase its talents at a performance in Glendale, Calif. on Nov. 8. The group will then begin its 24th year with a performance at sea during the Armenian Heritage Cruise in January 2010, and will perform again in February at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown.
The Alla Levonyan concert begins at 4 p.m. at the Watertown High School Auditorium, 50 Columbia St. in Watertown. For more information, or to purchase concert tickets, visit www.sayatnova.com.