Daimohk Dance Group
Chechenya‘Daimohk’ meaning ‘ancestral land’ in Chechen, is a dance group
comprising 33 dancers (aged 6 to 16) and five musicians from Grozny, who
together perform the traditional acrobatic dances and musical mantras of their homeland.
The company was founded in 1998 by Ramzan Akhmadov
– former star of the Chechen National Ballet and Celebrated Artist of the Russian Federation – and his wife Aiza, a dancer and choreographer.
Ramzan saw dance as a way to give a generation of children surrounded by violence and aggression
a positive creative focus and emotional self-expression.
Only 6 months later, Daimohk’s breathtaking and varied programme – from energising acrobatics and sword-throwing, to graceful formations
and mesmerizing instrumental numbers – won the Chechen Republic’s Competition for Artistic Excellence.
In early 1999, Ramzan converted a disused building into a dance hall.
Relatives and friends helped clear the rubble and put exercise bars and mirrors on the walls.
With the launch of the second offensive later that same year, the children and their families
were dispersed throughout the North Caucasus.
Looking to reunite the company Ramzan approached UNICEF for assistance, and was put in touch
with Chris Hunter, who was running an NGO in the region at that time.
DAGGER † DRAWN