Armenian State Dance Ensemble

It was organized on October 15, 1958 by the initiative of Georgy Asaturian, ballet master Edward Manukyan and composer Khachatur Avetisyan, with the aim of preserving the centuries-old heritage and traditions of the national dance and, multiplying it, passing it on to the next generations. Initially, a competition was announced, as a result of which 16 boys, 14 girls and 8 musicians were selected.Ballet masters Ilya Arbatov (Yaghubyan) and Vardges Rashidyan also made an invaluable contribution to the creation of the ensemble’s first concert program. “Dances of Sassoon”, “Fortress”, “Sabre dance”, “Shoror”, “Zangezur”, “Caucasian Dance”, “Dance with Skin” and other dances were staged with an original interpretation, preserving the traditions of Armenian folk dances.In 1959 a year after its creation, the ensemble started touring first in Soviet countries, then in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Israel, Iran, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Hungary and elsewhere.1968 Edward Manukyan was replaced by the People’s Artist of Armenia, ballet master Vanush Khanamiryan as the artistic director of the ensemble. During the years of his leadership, around 120 dance plays were staged in the ensemble, which remained in the ensemble’s repertoire for many years: among them: “Dance of Kintos”, “Shepherd’s Dance”, “Sardarapat”, “Enzeli” by A.Spendiaryan, “Sabre Dance”, “Uzundara”, “Lezginka” by A.Khachatryan, “Karavan”, “Tulips” by Kh.Avetisyan, “Vagharshapat” by Komitas, “Sassoon” series of ethnographic dances, etc. Under his leadership, the ensemble participated four times in Moscow congresses and five times in “Erebuni-Yerevan” celebrations. 1971 the tours of the ensemble in Latin American countries were significant: Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela. Then they performed on tour in Canada and a number of European countries: Denmark, France, Belgium, England, Switzerland and elsewhere. 1974 the ensemble toured in a number of cities in eleven states of the USA.Such talented artists danced in the ensemble as: Rashid Karapetyan, Zemfira Yeritsyan, Minas Khachatryan, Aida Harutyunyan, Harutyun Karapetyan, Levon Gasoyan, Albert Kiziryan, Jasmena Avetisyan, Karine Ghazaryan, Sofi Devoyan, Serzh Potoyan, Suren Chanchuryan, Norayr Mehrabyan, Gagik Karapetyan, Srbuhi Babayan, Vyacheslav Angurov, Sona Ghazaryan, Petros Gharibyan and others.

From 1993 to 2005 the State Dance Ensemble was led by leading dancer, Honored Artist of Armenia Suren Chanchuryan. Gagik Karapetyan was the principal ballet master of the ensemble in 1995-98, and the artistic director in 2005-07. During his leadership, “Awakening”, “Motherhood”, “Artsakhi”, “Ishkhanapar”, “Nino”, “Shepherds”, “Ethnographic dance series”, “Lezginka”, “Kochari”, “Urmians”, “Battle Dance” were staged, “Birth of Vahagn” and other dance numbers. Asatur Karapetyan was the chief choreographer of the ensemble in 2007-23. 1976 the ensemble became a laureate of the Armenian state award, and in 1978 was awarded the title of “Honored Collective of Armenia”.

2022 the ensemble was included in the National Center of Folk Music and Dance. Asatur Kalashyan was the chief choreographer of the ensemble in 2023-24. Since 1999, the musical part of the ensemble has been directed by composer, Honored figure of Armenian culture Hayk Grigoryan. From 2024 the chief choreographer is Honored figure of Armenian culture Gagik Karapetyan.

Dance Troupe