You probably have never heard about Erisioni. When you start asking people around they say that these dancers can jump higher than Persian gazelle. They can sing songs in complex vocal harmony. This is the truth but everything amazing and wonderful has its history.
The founder of the Erisioni Ensemble was a singing teacher Lado Angiahvili. Despite the fact that he hadn't absolute hearing and excellent vocal abilities, he decided to invest the money
he earns from the teaching into the ensemble. Later he told that the strong love for his motherland and Georgian folk songs inspired him to do that. He was born in a tiny village in Shida which is in the Kakheti region. The idea to create a singing group brought him to Tiflis.
In Tiflis, he could attract 27 people. The first dance and singing group was completely set in 1885. And here comes an interesting fact. When the first singing troupe was created the main challenges were to collect songs from all Georgian regions and to find the person who would teach the ensemble to sing. The mere coincidence brought together Josef Naval, a Chech orchestra conductor, and Lado Angiashvili. Josef Naval was traveling around Georgia and fell in love with Georgian Folk Music.
He accepted the invitation of Lado Angiashvili and started to teach singing the Erisiani singers. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of these people, the Ensemble Erisiona continues to please people around the world with their songs and dances.
The funny story is that the Orchestra Conductor Josef Naval wanted to include songs of other countries when choosing songs repertoire. That angered a lot the founder of the group Lado Agniashvili.
The compromise was to include only one song named "Evening". The song was supposed for three voices but Naval decided to remake it for four voices. He told that Georgian singers were so talented and they would sing the song perfectly. The song "Evening" is still in the program as a reminder and appreciation. Josef Naval and Lado Angiashvili made a huge contribution to the development of Georgian culture, Georgian Folk and Opera Music.
Josef Naval brought his family to Georgia and had never left the country anymore. He is buried at Macyscom cemetery.
The Ensemble got the name Erisiani much much later. Djemal Chkuaseli, a director of the group, decided to give the name ERISA but Gwyngilia, a Georgian Linguist, advised to think and look for the better word. The word "Erisioni" was found. It means "above the top of the mountains", that is, what is higher the mountains-between the earth and the sky. Later Ekvtime (Takaishvili-Georgian historian, archaeologist and public figure-ed.) said:- "Only clouds could be higher than Erisioni." It is the light haze between the earth and the sky, and it glows". If you are in the Georgian Mountains you can see this light haze coming up every morning reflecting in the sunlight. This is Erisioni! (source:sputnik-georgia-ru)
The Ensemble became world-famous with their new dance performance " Georgian Legend". The dance performance is choreographed by Paskal Jordan and Jim Lowe. More than 100 people participate simultaneously in the dance.