Kandi Merlani - This is an important name for the history of Georgian folklore. Perfect performer of Svanetian dancing and head choreographer of the ensemble Riho from Mestia was born in village Lenjeri and has been living there till today. His father helped him stand on the toes when he was still a child and since then, Svanetian dancing has become the part of his life. Svaneti, Racha, Abkhazia, Tusheti, Kakheti, Guria, Imereti, Samegrelo-folk representatives from different parts of Georgia congratulated him on the 80th year of anniversary. Concert participants were: Riho, Lela Tataraidze, Erisioni, Rustavi, Bermukha, Basiani, Dziriani, Didgori, Sakhioba, Shilda and the Mestia School of Choirmasters.
“Mr. Kandi has a great deserve before Georgian folklore, whole his life he has devotedly served our culture, these kind of people make folklore alive - Georgian singing, dancing… The ensemble Riho has played a huge role in popularizing Georgian culture not only inside, but also outside the country. His deserve before our cultural heritage is really immeasurable - especially in preserving and popularizing Svanetian choreography. Introducing him before the numerous generations is important” - The director of the Folklore Centre, Giorgi Donadze
After finishing school, Kandi Merlani entered Tbilisi Cultural-Educational institution on faculty of Choreograohy, here his long road of devotion to Svanetian dancing launches. The Choreographer has restored and revived the movements of different round dances like: Saperkhulo Lile, Didebata, Tsiokh-Makhvshi, Dala Kojars Khelgvazhale, Irinola, Kasletila. He has also created 4 staged round composition (I Gergili, II-Shishai Gergili, III-Shinaorgili and IV Tseruli).
The concert dedicated to Kandi Merlani was held in accordance with the initiative of the Anzor Erkomaishvili Folklore State Centre, supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth of Georgia.