Battle of the November Dances - St. Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Church, Providence, RI, ACYOA.
One of the longest running Kef dances throughout the Armenian community resides in Providence, Rhode Island. Back in 1971, the Providence ACYOA began hosting a dance on the first Saturday in December. This was a way for the local parishioners to celebrate the holiday season together, while dancing and singing along to traditional Kef music. Many musicians have had the honor of performing at this long standing ACYOA dance, most notably Onnik Dinkjian, who provided music at the dance for ten consecutive years! The dance became so successful while Onnik performed that the name of the dance quickly became “Chirstmas with Onnik”. Over the years, Mal Barsamian, Harry Bedrosian, the Aravod Ensemble and the Jason Naroian Ensemble have also performed. Recently, the date of the dance has been moved to the Saturday after Thanksgiving because most college students are home that weekend, many in search of a Kef to attend!
This past November, over 250 guests packed the Hanoian Hall at St. Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Church, with everyone dancing until 2am! Those who long for Kef music have found the right dance to attend with their family and friends; they know that they need look no further than the Holiday Kef Thanksgiving Weekend. Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the dance, an event surely not to be missed!