Chechen Dancer: Makhmud Esambayev

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Chechen Dancer: Makhmud Esambayev A Dance Magician Many believe music is a universal language. Regardless of ones nationality or background we can all recognize and be touched by the power of music. Makhmud Esambayev, a Chechen dancer born with an exceptional ear for music, devoted his life to touching others with his own power. Esambayev was born in 1924 in the small Circassian village of Stariye Atagi, which is located on the foothills of the Caucasian mountains. Stariye Atagi, about twenty km south of Grozny, is one of the largest villages in Chechnya. Chechens are the world's most ancient people with a very unique anthropological type and culture. Culturaly, Chechnya is represented by dozens of ethnic communities. The Ingushis, Kumyks, Russians and Nogais have formed the largest ethnic communities. In addition to them, there are also thousands of ethnic Armenians, Jews, Ukrainians, Avars, Tartars Georgians, Azeris, Kurds, Andis, Lezgians, Circassians, Ossetes, Dargwas and Laks in Chechnya that have contributed to the overall culture. Historically this extremely diverse area has produced many great artists, writers, playwrights, musicians and composers. Esambayev, however, stood out from all the rest. Since he was seven years old his father used to take him to village weddings where he would perform an act of song and dance for the crowd. He was always greeted with vast approval and excitement. When Esambayev turned fifteen years old he joined the Chechen-Ingush song and dance company and four years later became a member of a show biz task team who held concerts for his countries army. At the age of twenty Esambayev advanced his physcial and musical talents and became a soloist of the Kirgiz theater of opera ... ... middle of paper ... ... divisions within the minds of men. His art, in many ways, had closed a mental gap between people of various ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs and ways of life. It could even be said that his dances embodied, "...on the threshold of the third millennium, mankind's dream of peace, friendship, brotherhood and international unity." (Chechnya 2005) Works Cited: "Chechenya Free.RU." Chechen culture. 23, January, 2005. The Voice of Russia. 23, January, 2005 <http://www.chechnyafree.ru/index.php?section=cultureeng&lng=eng>. Dunlop, John B. . Russia Confronts Chechnya : Roots of a Separatist Conflict . : Cambridge University Press , 1998. Stolyarova, Galina . "esambayev's genius is fondly remembered." The St. Petersburg Times 25, February , 2000. ARTS + FEATURES. 21, January, 2005 <http://www.sptimesrussia.com/secur/545/features/essambaev.htm>.

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