Karabakh Foundation hold event at Textile Museum in Washington

Sat 11 Jun 2011 00:00 GMT | 04:00 Local Time

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Azerbaijanis attending the event expressed sheer joy at witnessing this cultural extravaganza in Washington.

Sponsored by the Karabakh Foundation, Azerbaijani cultural achievements--from mugam music to folk dances to carpets-featured prominently in the Outdoor Festival/Celebration of Textiles at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., on June 4.

Azerbaijanis attending the event expressed sheer joy at witnessing this cultural extravaganza in Washington, D.C.'s lovely Dupont Circle neighborhood. One of the world's foremost specialized art museums, the Textile Museum holds the Outdoor Festival/Celebration of Textiles every year in conjunction with the Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk weekend. The event brings hundreds of visitors to ten museums housed off the National Mall.

Complementing the exhilarating color and sophisticated rhythms of the performances were sights of glorious Azerbaijani rugs, accompanied by knowledgeable Foundation "explainers" interacting with visitors. At the Karabakh Foundation booth next to the stage, a Foundation display introduced U.S. visitors to Azerbaijan's significant role in the design and production of many of the world's "Oriental carpets." Children colored outline drawings of various rug designs and learned to distinguish Azerbaijani designs from those originating elsewhere.
Playing Azerbaijani mugam for the crowd was the world-renowned Imamyar Hasanov. The music served as its own calling card, clearly mesmerizing guests, both young and old.

Performing Azerbaijani dances were the stellar Azerbaijani Students dance group, Kardelen Turkish Dance Ensemble, and Nomad Dancers. Dances ranged from "Qizil Laledir Adim" ("My Name is Red Tulip") to the "Raghse Daf," or "Drum Dance." Many visitors new to Azerbaijani culture flocked to the stage during breaks in search of better understanding of these startling "new" cultural traditions.

"A feast for the senses" was how one American visitor described the extravaganza of music, dance, and textiles.

Saturday's event represented an early milestone of the Karabakh Foundation's Azerbaijani Rug Initiative. The Foundation is building a community of rug experts and aficionados to shed light on Azerbaijan's great accomplishments in the world of Oriental carpets. A long-range initiative, this Foundation effort seeks ultimately to give proper attribution to rugs that should be labeled "Azerbaijani." Many rugs that should be considered Azerbaijani, through twists of history, are categorized in showrooms and museums as "Oriental," "Persian," "possibly Caucasus," and the like.

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