WATERTOWN, Mass.—The second season of Hamazkayin-Boston’s Erebouni Dance School and Ensemble is about to start. The school went from 0 to 60 students in 7 months, and a great performance at the end of the inaugural season left every parent bragging about their child’s participation. Luckily, there is more to come, as promised by Arman Mnatsakanyan, the artistic director of the school.
In October 2011, Hamazkayin-Boston, under Mnatsakanyan’s leadership, formed the school in response to the community’s demands for such an institution. The mission of the school is to provide an educational environment for children where they can learn the fundamentals of the art of dance in a structured manner.
“We help children develop correct posture, body alignment, strength, flexibility, and coordination before instructing them in any specific dance discipline,” said Mnatsakanyan, adding that “this is a holistic approach in dance art education that is utilized in most professional schools.”
In June 2012, seven months after opening its doors, Erebouni Dance School and Ensemble students took the stage at Watertown High School’s Shaw Auditorium, where they presented traditional Armenian dances through fresh and exciting expression—and with confidence and poise. In the presence of more than 500 guests, the students performed 14 pieces ranging from regional numbers such as “Taroni Par” (Taron Dance) to “Martakan Lorke,” and finished with a rousing performance of “Hayer Miatsek” (Armenians Unite).
In November, the children will perform on stage with Inga and Anoush Arshakyan at the duo’s Boston debut. From Eurovision to the Americas and beyond, Inga and Anoush have entertained and delighted audiences all over the world. And now Erebouni students will experience the dazzle of fame and the beauty of our pop culture first-hand. Inga and Anoush will perform in New Jersey on Nov. 10, and in Watertown on Nov. 11. Tickets for both shows may be purchased online at www.itsmyseat.com/hamazkayiner/.
Members of Hamazkayin-Boston believe that a live orchestra to accompany the dancers’ performance enhances the learning process and brings greater enjoyment to the audience. To that end, Martin Haroutunian led a group of professional musicians to provide live music at Erebouni’s inaugural performance. Haroutunian, the artistic director of the Arev Armenian Folk Ensemble and a favorite of the New England Armenian community, believes that “our primary goal is to teach Armenian traditional folk dances to our children. We believe this to be one way of keeping our traditions alive in the hearts of our younger generations.”
The school opens its second season this September. If you are looking for a nurturing environment for your child to connect with his or her roots, to make new friendships while exercising and building healthy lifestyle habits, look no further. Visit us online at www.hamazkayin-usa.org/erebouni or call (617) 331-0426 for more information or to register.
About the artistic director
Arman Mnatsakanyan began his dancing career at the Pioneer Palace Youth Group in Yerevan, Armenia. He was later accepted into the Armenian State School of Dance. In 1995, he joined the “Friendship” State Dance Ensemble, where he became one of the premier soloists, performing in many countries. He also studied in the State Pedagogical University’s dance department. Mnatsakanyan founded the “Golden Age” Dance Ensemble and became its artistic director, winning numerous awards and medals. He was the coach of the winning team of Armenia’s “Dancing with the Stars” equivalent during its second season (Shant TV’s Folk Dances 2 program).