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Celebrated tightrope walker sees tradition disappearing in Armenia

Author Tatev Manukyan

Tightrope walking, the art of walking along a thin rope in the air, which was common in Armenia starting from the medieval period, is in danger of being forgotten in the country, according to the celebrated tightrope artist, magician, writer, Culture Figure of Armenia Vladimir Hakobyan

“We fail to present this peculiar piece of art to our nation. The ancient national tradition is disappearing,” he told Panoram.am.

The artist stressed the need to organize some 15-20 tightrope walking performances across Armenia’s towns and villages to have the tradition survive and spread.

“The Ministry of Culture, along with the Municipality, must provide full-fledged conditions for practicing this art form in any place,” the ropedancer stressed.

According to Mr. Hakobyan, today the people engaged in the culture sphere ‘only possess diplomas and do not seem to have some insight into all its braches.’

“Tightrope walking fails to develop in Armenia since people cannot offer free performances given their financial condition. We lack both funds and cadres. But this genre will boost in case of state support,” he said, expressing hope they will manage to find artists who will be able to practice ropedancing when the Circus opens in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

The artist also attached importance to including tightrope walking in the state cultural programs.

When asked about the places of his performances, as well as the payment he receives for each of them, Mr. Hakobyan said he receives invitations from different regions of Armenia and Artsakh especially during celebrations of national holidays, with the payment depending on the distance.

He unveiled plans to continue practicing his craft for eight more years until he turns 80 to show the whole world that “Armenia puts the arts, culture above all else.”


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