The “YEL” short dance film is about the struggle of polarities inside a human being and about the reaction she or he may have when faced with all the contrasts of the outer world. And only self-overcoming can give a human being the feeling of victory.

CONCEPT: A crowd sleeps in her … You can hear the voices of people shouting “Yel” – “Stand-up”. She steps down without stopping. She seems to be dragging some burdensome thoughts with her and that burden makes her path even harder. She feels the inevitable approach of the upcoming. She is confident with herself but this is only an outer appearance of her. She is hesitant, she is afraid of being erroneous. A woman who regularly appears in her thoughts is her inner self. Her oppressed freedom is constrained by a polyphony of stones, walls, and pillars. She tries to escape herself, she is alone and defenseless, she wants to be loved. Vain struggle! She continues descending, eventually reaching the final stair and…

Komitas’ adaptation of the Armenian folk labor song “Yel, yel” shows the Armenian peasant’s attitude towards his ox. The ox was really crucial for the Armenian peasant for it was the breadwinner of his family. In fact, it’s well-being was equal to the well-being of his child. And if someone’s ox was sick or died, it was a great tragedy. This song depicts that very moment. The peasant says, “Stand up, stand up, the day passed, it got dark. You may not know the words of the song or understand their meaning but it still makes you cry, feel empathy for everything that surrounds you and experience some unknown feelings. The harmony of its acapella tells you of eternal issues, of the inner sentiments of each human being, the power of never giving-up.

In the dance movie, you can see parallels between static Armenian architecture, movement and voice. The film was shot at Erebuni fortress on the Arin Berd hill between the districts of Nor-Aresh and Vardashen in the south-eastern suburbs of Yerevan. It was constructed in 782 BC by one of the greatest kings of Urartu, Argishti I. Some experts say that Erebuni means “victory” or “capture”, while others believe that it means a city of “free people”.


Directed by Rima Pipoyan

Line Producer Lilit Gabrielyan

Concept, Choreography and Dance by Rima Pipoyan

Director of Photography Artur Gharayan

Editing, Color Grading and Visual Effects by Emil Khachatryan

Gaffer Razmik Hambardzumyan

Steadicam David Harutyunyan

Steadicam Assistant Artur Galustyan

First Assistant Camera Zareh Safaryan

Drone Operator Valera Malkhasyan

Make-up Artist Liana Ayvazyan

Costume Design by Rima Pipoyan

Costume makers Asya Soghoyan, Varduhi Soghoyan

Shooting Assistants Maria Khachatryan, Vahagn Matosyan

Photographer Mary Grigoryan

The “Yel, Yel” Song adaptation by Komitas Music Performed by Armenian State Chamber Choir (ASCC) Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Robert Mlkeyan

Film Partners: “Goethe Center” in Yerevan, Erebuni Historical and Archeological Museum Preserve, Armenian State Chamber Choir (ASCC)

The project realized within the framework of the Contemporary Dance & Experimental Art Festival in Tbilisi

The project was implemented under the the financial support of the organization The Trust for Mutual Understanding (TMU)

Special Thanks to Tamuna Gurchiani the Director of Contemporary Dance & Experimental Art Festival in Tbilisi

Special Thanks to Mikhail Badalyan the Director of the Erebuni Historical and Archeological Museum Preserve