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What High School Marching Bands and Joseph Stalin Have In Common

This is a song you’ve probably heard before:

In Hollywood, on TV, in advertisements and previews, from marching bands it signifies pandemonium, imbalance, frenetic energy, catastrophe, albeit in a fun or humorous(to the viewer) way.

Oddly there was a sabre dance in real life and there was nothing funny about it.
To use this piece as a sound track would be even worse than the cliche of playing “It’s a Wonderful World” while the characters are subjected to tragedy and physical anguish in a slow motion montage.

We can make an additional leap if we consider that F-100 Sabres were used to combat MiGs.

MiG is short for Mikoyan Gurevitch.
The Gurevitch part was dropped but the planes made by Mikoyan aerospace were forever after known as MiGs nonetheless.

Artem Mikoyan was an Armenian, brother of Anastas Mikoyan who was among Stalin’s top ministers.

Khachaturian as it turns out was a Soviet(yes one of the best known pieces of all time in American popular entertainment came from the USSR) composer who happened to be prominent while Stalin was in power and he also happened to be Armenian.
As it happened, Anastas Mikoyan would have seen Khachaturian’s ballets premiere at the Bolshoi theatre. He would almost certainly have seen Sabre Dance, part of a ballet, Gayane, first performed in 1942.(While the USSR was being invaded by Nazi Germany.)

Indeed while google gives me no definite answer, we must consider it very likely that the two men must have known each other.

Indeed, Stalin, Mikoyan’s boss paid lavish attention to his artists and sure enough, Khachaturian was forced to compose odes to Stalin’s greatness.
The ballet, Gayane, that contains Sabre Dance was awarded with the Stalin Prize 1st Class in 1943.

Small world isn’t it?

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