Rustavi Ensemble Exec. Director on Past Successes & Future Developments

The 40-year-old Rustavi Ensemble and Martve Studio have for decades, under the guidance of Anzor Erkomaishvili, trained thousands of children in the art of folk songs and chanting. With its concert work, television shows, radio recordings and other promotional activities, the renowned group has for years generated great interest in singing among the youth of Georgia. Folklore ensembles composed of children are on the rise in Georgia today, with children singing songs passed down to them from previous generations of folk singers. And so the tradition goes on.

The Rustavi Ensemble has held more than 1500 concerts during its existence and participated in many TV and radio programs. It was even watched by over 100,000 spectators in a series of concerts in Japan recently. Here's what 8-year-old Hiromasa Tabagi, who lives in Hiroshima, said of the Georgian folk group: “Thank you very much for showing us such great songs and dances. I'm excited. Come to Nagasaki again! We will give you wine and Crane Origami!”

The Ensemble was in Japan for a month and a half, on their 50th year anniversary tour. The tour, which began in the city of Ichikawa (Chiba), ended on November 21 in the city of Osaka. It was an unprecedented event in the history of Georgian culture. Such large-scale concerts have never been held beyond Georgian territory or in the history of Japan. The concerts were a great success according to the Japanese press.

Giorgi Gabunia, Executive Director of ‘Rustavi’ and ‘Martve,’ talked about what’s next.

“Significant structural changes have been made. In the spring of 2018, Martve Studio joined the State Academic Ensemble Rustavi as a structural unit of Georgian folk song and dance. Based on this, we began a major reorganization in the studio. The project ‘Manage New Life,’ the organizational formation of the Ensemble, implementation of new goals and tasks, and improvements to the teaching quality have enhanced and renewed the energy of the Studio’s work,” Gabunia noted. “Giorgi Donadze, Artistic Director of the Basiani Ensemble, was invited to join us as Artistic Director. This is very important for us because he is the most outstanding and successful lobby in our generation. I’m convinced that the creative processes here will only get better. The curriculum was renewed and new academic disciplines were added, which aim at raising the quality of education and professionalism. The Board is composed of well-known musicians, including the Ensemble’s Artistic Director Anzor Erkomaishvili, Chief Choreographer Fridon Sulaberidze, Tamaz Andghuladze, Head of the Jansugh Kakhidze Music Center Vakhtang Kakhidze, Georgian Chakua Foundation Director Nana Gotua and The Georgian Folklore State Center. That's the council that leads the priorities of this big organization and the one which makes the important decisions. The Studio teaches Georgian folk song and traditional chant, Georgian folk instruments, choreography, theatrical art, reading and speech,” he emphasized.

Over 40 years, the popularity of Georgian traditional song and folklore has grown. Georgian traditional chanting has been made a separate direction in studies at the Studio, a complex change expected to bring great results in future.

“With the opening of the schools of the Folklore State Center in the regions, we have achieved quite significant success, with hundreds of young people having already mastered the Georgian traditional art and an unprecedented increase seen amongst youth interest in Tbilisi,” Gabunia noted. “In the end, this will definitely cause a great intellectual explosion. I am happy to see how many talented children come along. The Studio is also preparing for a solo concert, a matter of pride for all our young talent.”

They also have a new program in the choreographic direction with boys and girls working together.

“We expect that further interest will increase in this direction,” the Rustavi Executive Director stated.

By Anna Zhvania

13 December 2018 20:14