This evening at the Stanislavsky Theater in Yerevan, the U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Christopher Smith launched the Embassy-sponsored American Dance Abroad (ADA) program “FOCUS: USA.” The U.S. Embassy contributed $50,000 to support the project, produced in cooperation with the High Fest International Performing Arts Festival, enabling the ADA to bring three stellar American contemporary dance companies to perform for Armenian audiences: Doug Varone and Dancers, Bridgman/Packer, and Heidi Latsky Dance. In addition to the performances, this “festival within a festival” also includes master classes, workshops, interaction with Armenian dance companies, and panel discussions.
In his remarks ahead of tonight’s performance by Doug Varone and Dancers, DCM Smith said, “These types of exchanges serve to increase mutual understanding and foster deep connections between American and Armenian artists, proving that we share a universal language – the language of freedom of expression, creativity, friendship, and peace.”
These universal ideas of freedom, friendship, and peace are especially relevant in 2019, as we mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – an event that showed us the human capacity to overcome decades of differences and unite to build a prosperous future.
Other sponsors of the “FOCUS: USA” program in Yerevan include the Trust for Mutual Understanding, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, American Dance Abroad, and High Fest International Performing Arts Festival.
Subsequent performances will take place on October 4 at 7:00pm at the State Youth Theater, and October 5 at 7:00pm at the State Russian Drama Theater.