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Antranig Dance Ensemble Performs in Minneapolis

The Antranig Dance Ensemble has performed in a lot of unique cities and countries through the past thirty years, but most would never have expected to find them performing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Not that there aren't any Armenians there, because, as the Ensemble found out first-hand, there are. And they love the folk, ballet and historical dance stylings of the Antranig Ensemble just as it's loved every place the group performs.

What made this trip even more unique was that it was sponsored by the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota as part of a day-long Armenian Education Day. The high-profile event was
arranged by Assistant Professor Siobhan Nash-Marshall, who has demonstrated a long-time personal love for everything Armenian.

The Antranig Dance Ensemble performed a spirited full program of selections from its current repertoire under Director Joyce Tamesian-Shenloogian, and was accompanied by their teacher, mentor and choreographer, Gagik Karapetian of Yerevan.

Another aspect of the unique atmosphere for the dancers was the audience they performed to, an audience of academics, students and members of the college community, as well as many from the Armenian community of the Minneapolis-St. Paul region. The response was no less enthusiastic than the group has experienced in New York, Yerevan or Paris.

The beautiful stylings of Mr. Karapetian combined with the energy of the mature dancers delivered an infectious mood to the audience. It culminated in a demand for an encore that had to be answered, leaving the attendees with a feeling that they got what they came for.

The Antranig performance was the finale of a full day of Armenian culture and history, including a display of materials from the SAVE Project of ALMA, lectures by noted Armenologists Lucy Der
Manuelian, Vahakn Dadrian and Ruth Tomasian. Other speakers included Aldo Ferrari of the University of Naples, Italy and Michael Wegner, the son of a photographer of Genocide atrocities.

In addition to the University of St. Thomas and Ms. Nash-Marshall, a major underwriter of the event was Arsham Ohanessian, a devoted supporter of Armenian culture and activities in the region.

The relationship with Professor Nash-Marshall actually began two years ago when she was involved with a grand medieval festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan. At that time a smaller number of dancers from the Antranig Ensemble were invited to perform at that event and received a great response, certainly enough for her to remember Antranig and ask them to perform for the recent event. It's no surprise that Ms. Nash-Marshall is already planning the next occasion for Antranig's return to the area.

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