AIWA San Francisco affiliate organizes ballet workshop, networking event
Published: Tuesday June 19, 2012
San Francisco - On June 10 AIWA San Francisco affiliate welcomed young Armenian and non-Armenian ballet students to an exclusive ballet workshop led by Victoria Ananyan, world-renown Armenian ballerina, at the Pacific Ballet Academy in Mountain View, California.
As part of its mission, AIWA is committed to identifying distinguished Armenian women worldwide and introducing their talent to a broader Armenian community. Victoria is a perfect example of such talent. She was invited to the United States in 2011-2012 as a soloist to perform at the San Francisco Ballet, captivating its audience with her first class performances. "I live as I dance, I dance as I live. Ballet is simply my life", said the ballerina.
Since childhood, until the age of sixteen, Victoria was trained by her mother, Zhanna Muradyan. She graduated from the Perm State Ballet School by Ulanova in 2003 at the age of nineteen, and danced at the Perm Ballet Theatre prior to her move to Netherlands in 2007 to join the Dutch National Ballet as a soloist. Her rich repertoire at the Dutch National Ballet included Nikiya in La Bayadere; Clara in Nutcracker; Aurora, princess Florine, Fairies in Sleeping Beauty; Swanhilde at Coppelia and many other roles including George Balanchine ballets and contemporary choreographers.
The accomplished ballerina brought her vast experience and knowledge to students to improve their style and expression, fostering greater appreciation for the performing art.
The workshop concluded with a spectacular performance of Kroonk, choreographed by Noemi Araxi, an exceptional Armenian ballerina, who was one of the principal dancers at the National Opera and Ballet in Armenia for many years, prior to relocating to the United States. The students and parents were mesmerized by the passionate performance
Kroonk in Armenian means crane bird, and it is the symbol of the nation. As Noemi Araxi explained "When I first met Victoria, I knew that she should be featured in one of the most authentic and moving Armenian musical pieces created by a legendary Armenian composer, Komitas, whose music has always inspired me.
On May 31 over fifty Armenian women throughout the San Francisco Bay Area gathered together for an evening of wine tasting and networking at the picturesque offices of Deloitte & Touche in downtown San Francisco.
"We were thrilled to see such a diverse group of women come together for AIWA, "commented, Gaiane Khachatrian, President of the newly formed San Francisco affiliate. "Our executive committee is already planning a variety of upcoming events and programs to support and promote the professional growth of women in in the Bay Area and Armenia."
The evening opened with warm welcoming remarks from Laura Dirtadian, AIWA SF executive committee member and manager at Deloitte, who also introduced her fellow committee members. Guests then had the opportunity to introduce themselves while mingling over wine and delicious food.
After, AIWA SF Vice President Lusine Yeghiazaryan highlighted the vision of the new San Francisco chapter and specific initiatives currently in production. "We're looking into providing workshops focused on college acceptance prep, critical interviewing and resume writing skills, as well as confidence building, career and time management sessions led by trained professionals, remarked Yeghiazaryan. "There will also be some social activities as well!"
The warm and pleasant environment that was created by the AIWA SF executive team made everyone feel welcomed and content.
San Francisco AIWA affiliate launch
Over forty Bay Area supporters of the Armenian International Women's Association gathered at the home of Gregory Matsoyan and Elena Sagayan in Pleasanton, California on the evening of March 18, to celebrate completion of the initial steps in the formation of the AIWA San Francisco Affiliate. The event was attended by numerous Armenian and non-Armenian supporters, who had the opportunity to learn about AIWA and the remarkable work of the organization in pursuit of the empowerment of Armenian women worldwide.
The affiliate's Executive Committee President, Gaiane Khachatrian, opened the event with an expression of gratitude to the hosts: "Gregory and Elena have always been active participants in Bay Area Armenian community affairs and their generous act today is once again a testimony to the great level of their commitment to supporting Armenia."
The program included a presentation of the two projects selected to be the focus of the San Francisco AIWA affiliate over the next few years to improve the economic and social advancement of women in Armenia. Vice President, Lusine Yeghyazarian and Executive Committee Member Susanna Cogswell, summarized the first project, which plans to provide micro-loans to socially vulnerable, talented, motivated young women entrepreneurs in Armenia. President Khachatrian noted that numerous studies have documented how access to financial services improves the status of women within the family and the community, making them more assertive and confident. Dr. Elena Sagayan introduced the formative steps underway to pursue a second project that will focus on the reproductive health care of women in the rural areas of Armenia.
Guests responded enthusiastically to invitations to join the affiliate and to donate to help the organization carry out its mission to build a positive, productive and peaceful environment to enable women in Armenia to thrive.
AIWA members and supporters enjoyed a musical program of selections from several operas and stunning performances of "Tsitsernak" and "Erebuni Yerevan". Throughout the evening guests continued to socialize and enjoy bountiful food. All expressed their appreciation for an informative and fulfilling event.
The Armenian International Women's Association is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. For more information about AIWA, please visit http://www.aiwainternational.org.