Antranig Dance Ensemble Complete Whirlwind Four-Month
it rains, it pours. That must be the way many members
of the AGBU Antranig Dance Ensemble feel after wrapping
up a busy winter season that saw the group perform a
half-dozen programs in New York City and surrounding
group's schedule came to a rousing crescendo Saturday,
March 1 as they served as guest performers at the elegant
30th Anniversary Dinner-Dance of the St. Gregory Church
Armenian School in Westchester County, New York. What
may have started as a pleasant plan for a few dances
to entertain a sold-out dinner, turned into a 45-minute
program of energy, excitement and out-doing their best.
was in the air that night transformed the dancers into
top-level entertainers, and the audience contributed
to the atmosphere with plenty of encouragement and appreciation.
Antranig dancers have built a reputation on providing
a hundred percent effort into their programs, but this
was one night they walked away realizing they delivered
one hundred ten percent, and leaving their audience
in a quite different mood than when they entered.
Antranig Ensemble's winter season actually began in
November with two performances in New York City on the
same day. Early afternoon found them at the Library
for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center as part of
the Anahid Sofian Dance Company's annual mix of international
dance performances. Although only one part of a large
show, Antranig left their stamp on the audience with
a number of selections from its current repertoire prepared
by choreographer Gagik Karapetian.
another engagement just hours later, it was into cars
and vans and a winding trip through Brooklyn to dance
at the annual multi-cultural event presented by the
Brooklyn YMCA. This is the third year Antranig has been
invited to be a main feature of the show, and the audience
wasn't disappointed. The Armenian folk dances were just
what was needed to stir the crowd, and make them a part
of the Armenian culture for a short while.
weeks later, the Antranig Dance Ensemble started a series
of appearances at high-profile holiday events. The Armenian
Club of Hudson Valley is a group encompassing areas
north of Westchester County and south of Albany, New
York. A little too far from both church communities
to regularly take part in their activities, this Armenian
Club has taken it upon themselves to have seasonal events
in their own backyard.
Christmas dinner was attended by over a hundred area
residents, and once again Antranig provided the excitement.
In a one hour program that highlighted the many dance
stylings of the
group, the Antranig dancers held their audience captive.
Many attendees were so motivated as to seek out information
on upcoming shows, to purchase music cassettes of past
shows, and even make arrangements for a feature article
in the Poughkeepsie Journal newspaper. As the night
went on, the Antranig performers danced with their audience
and even gave impromptu demonstrations of new dances
of learning, the members of the Ensemble weren't exempt
from once and twice weekly dance rehearsals during this
period. The training sessions became a combination of
plans for their next performance and learning completely
new dances for future shows. Clearly, they kept it all
straight when they got on stage.
unique holiday event for the Antranig troupe was a performance
for the Persian-American Association of New Jersey.
The organization held its annual holiday dinner at the
Wayne Manor in New Jersey and invited Antranig as their
featured entertainment. Over one hundred attendees felt
right at home with the Armenian dances, and clapped
and cheered their way through an entertaining event.
season wouldn't have been complete with a visit of over
twenty-five dancers to the Armenian Home for the Aged
in Emerson, New Jersey. It goes without saying that
the residents truly
appreciated the show put on for them, and especially
meeting and talking with the young dancers afterward.
it sounds like a busy four months for this accomplished
dance group under the Directorship of Joyce Tamesian-Shenloogian,
it was. Best of all, no dancer complains when the schedule
Instead, the question is always, "When's our next