An intimate dance tribute to Armenian culture and identity
Armenia, one of the world’s oldest civilizations, is a tiny country with a rich history caught between the geographical giants of Turkey, Iran, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. In this dance profile directed by filmmaker duo Öm, French-Armenian choreographer Aline Derderian narrates and dances with affecting melancholia the delights of being Armenia and the challenges of growing up in contrasting cultures.
Forget Me Not gracefully alludes to popular aspects of Armenian culture, such as horse breeding and pomegranates, which are indigenous to its lands. And for the dance, Derderian has her own take on a traditional Armenian female dancer’s dress.
Derderian also combines hand and arm movements inspired by Armenian folk dance with postmodern choreography in an ethereal ode to her dual heritage. The dance and cinematography were inspired by the paintings of Zabelle C. Boyajian, an Armenian artist known for her dreamlike illustrations of folk songs and legends.
“The film questions Derderian’s diasporic identity and spirituality, conveying both a lyrical and organic aesthetic in the form of a tale,” say Margot de Kerangat and Oscar Viguier, the duo behind Öm. “Forget Me Not is an intimate portrait of dreams, personal memories, and contemporary reflections on cultural identity.”
Derderian is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Rennes 2 University in France. Her research connects her performance art background, Armenian roots, and postmodern dance influences to develop a choreographic process that challenges the archetypal female dancing body as a catalyst for contemporary feminine performance writing and cultural survival.May 12, 2021