Programs

Researcher, Presenter, Performer, Trainer

Born in Lebanon and a graduate of Yerevan State University of Armenia, Alidz Agbabian presents folk and fairy tales, myths and fables from her Armenian heritage as well as the cultures of the Near East, the Mediterranean basin and the New Independent States (the former Soviet Union).

Presented in a setting of cultural traditions, personal stories, artifacts, games and rhythmic speech, her selections offer colorful imagery, insight and meaning to audiences of all ages. The English narrative is accompanied with poetry and folk songs in diverse languages (English, Armenian, Russian, Greek, Turkish, Hebrew, Kurdish, Farsi, French). For special presentations, Agbabian enhances her performances with traditional percussionists and her daughter, musician and folk singer Areni Agbabian.

Based in Los Angeles, Agbabian offers classroom, library and museum presentations, residencies and teachers’ workshops and develops special theme presentations for exhibits and festivals nationwide.

Agbabian is also an author-publisher of children’s story/song picture books (see the list of publications).

Alidz Agbabian offers the following programs:

From China to the Mediterranean:
Stories and songs from the cultures along the Silk Road.

From India to the Sicily:
Stories and songs along the merchant trails.

Festivals of the Armenian Calendar:
• Traditions of Armenian Christmas
• Traditions of New Year Celebration
Diaruntarach: The return of the sun (first in a series of seven spring festivals)
• Soorp Sarkis (St. Sarkis)—the Armenian Valentine’s Day
Paregentan—The Armenian Spring Carnival
• The Lent season and its traditions
• Palm Sunday and Easter traditions
Hampartsoom (Ascension)—A festival of flowers
Vartavar—A festival of purification of water and remembrance of Noah’s Ark landing on Mount Ararat
• Blessing of the grapes—the first harvesting and offerings of the grape and wheat of the land

Noruz (in spring):
Traditions, stories and songs from the Persian New Year

The Arab Cultures:
Songs and stories from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan

Israel:
Folktales and songs from Israel

Singing Peddlers of Aleppo:
Stories from the Safardic Jewish traditions

Armenia’s Landscape:
• Folktales and myths about the bodies of waters and rivers of Armenia
• Folktales and myths about the mountains of Armenia
• Folktales and myths about the heavenly bodies

Birds of Paradise:
Legends, folktales and songs about birds in the Armenian tradition

The Armenian Alphabet:
Stories celebrating Armenian cultural month (October) and the creation of the Armenian alphabet in the fifth century

A Handful of Grain:
Stories, traditions and songs about the sowing and harvesting of the wheat in the Armenian highlands

Talent and Identity:
Developing talent and skill through personal and family stories and intergenerational role models

Wedding Gown:
Trousseau, the bride’s gown and its symbolisms with songs of celebration and preparation of the bride

Genocide and Survival:
Remembering the 1915 Genocide of the Armenian nation with stories of survival and songs of hope

The Hero and Heroine Within:
Fairy tales celebrating passage from adolescence to adulthood

Foxes, Mice, Birds and Water Creatures:
Folktales and fables from the animal kingdom

Biblical Stories:
Christ’s life, miracles and parables integrated with Medieval Armenian illuminated manuscript demonstrations and traditional chants and prayers

Nerses Shnorhali:
Twelve verses of the 11th century Armenian Catholicos and poet; inspirations for everyday living (multiple presentations)

Ecology:
Traditions and stories about the preservation of Nature

Village Home:
The structure of the Armenian village home, the daily lifestyle of the rural family, with stories and worksongs

High Up in the Mountains:
Stories, songs and folkdances about some silly and some wise shepherds and goats

Little Girl with Big Dreams:
From lullabies to matriarch of the traditional family—stories, songs, games and legends

Little Boy with Big Dreams:
From lullabies to patriarch of the traditional family

Childhood of David of Sassoun:
Multiple continuous storytelling presentations from the Armenian epic poem, The Daredevils of Sassoun

Alidz engaging children in a classroom

Work in Progress