"Dear Armen" Will Have a Sold Out Debut in Yerevan

We had reported about "Dear Armen," a finalist project in the "Shift" initiative sponsored by ONEArmenia a few months ago. Now we are glad to inform that, presented by Saboteur Productions, it will debut as a work in progress in Yerevan on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at The Club (Agoump), at Tumanyan and Parpetsi. It is even more encouraging that the function is sold out!
"Dear Armen" is described as "an immersive theater experience inspired by the life of Armen Ohanian, an enigmatic Armenian performer and poet; integrating Armenian dance, erotic performance, and spoken word. Ohanian’s story is used as a means to uncover and explore the powerful and complex “femininity” of modern Armenian women, as her spirit is embodied in the characters and narrative of this presentation." Ohanian claimed roles traditionally assigned to men, such as producer, choreographer, and director, besides being a performer. "Through experimental theatre and interdisciplinary performance," it is said, "we will reincarnate Ohanian’s life and spirit – demonstrating her ability to transform herself and the audience’s perception of theater and the erotic. The show will uncover the life of this incredibly productive and unconventional artist, recover the legacy of a woman who brought innovation to Armenian theater, and connect her story to contemporary histories of performers from various genres."
A note by Canadian Armenian dancer and director Kamee Abrahamian is worth quoting in its entirety:
"It is important to recognize that Ohanian’s story, which can be compared to the likes of inspirational figures such as Sarah Bernhardt and Frida Kahlo, is quite contemporary even for current times. It has the potential to appeal to a universal audience as well as Armenians. That being said, the desired impact of this project is to engage the prolific dynamism of the Armenian woman and nurture the progression of a pivotal social issue that is prevalent in the front lines of contemporary cultural discourse in Armenia. My goal is to co-create a piece of interactive theater that will transfer these strengths, whether they be considered sensual, artistic, maternal, or mystical, to audiences who will walk away feeling energized and moved by Ohanian’s legacy. If these goals are met, I can only hope that those who are inspired will embody this experience in their own lives and pay it forward – to loved ones and strangers alike – therefore taking one step closer to the transformation and evolution of women’s issues and the future of Armenian culture."
The creation / production team behind this project is composed by Kamee Abrahamian, Tiffany Golarz, and d. lee williams.
To read more about Armen Ohanian, go to en.wikipedia.org/Armen Ohanian. You may also find her only work translated into English, the autobiographical novel The Dancer of Shamahka, on the Internet. For those who read Armenian, copies of Artsvi Bakhchinyan's and Vartan Matiossian's «Շամախեցի պարուհին. Արմէն Օհանեանի կեանքն ու գործը» are still available from Sardarabad Bookstore in Glendale.

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