The Center will be situated near the train station, in the old cultural center, which was destroyed by the earthquake. For this project Ballet 2021 is collaborating with award-winning Montreal architect Azad Chichmanian, who will fuse old and new to create a building that will turn any regular Gyumri Saturday into an experience that removes boundaries between art and audience, making Gyumri a sought-after destination.

Architectural plans include a performance house, three studios with nine dressing rooms, multi-functional conference room, library, gallery space, café-gift shop and a sculpture garden. With all these elements, we see the Center quickly becoming an inspirational place sure to revitalize Gyumri and reawaken a modern, innovative passion for world-class performing arts.

The Kharatian Experiential Centre for the Performing Arts is set to begin construction in 2019, and to open in 2022.

“What is interesting is that we’re talking about a place where gravity was once such a destructive force, where the earthquake brought such terror and loss. Now, in that same place, within those same walls, if we do things right, the building can literally float, even soar. At the same time, the people who use the building will themselves be lifted, both literally and spiritually.
Dance has that same vocation. We want to taunt gravity.”

Azad Chichmanian

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The Kharatian Arts Center Gyumri will present visual and performing arts programming that creates an experience of the highest quality. Programs will be contemporary, cross-disciplinary, accessible, reflective of our dedication to innovation and creativity.

The Centre will be a place of experiential arts education and research. Aspiring performers can learn about social and environmental change, and keep up with leaders across many fields in a rapidly changing world through research, arts education, and experiential learning.

Connections will be forged worldwide between individuals and their global counterparts. In addition, the centre will host world-renowned performers and teachers, as well as offer international summer schools and camps. In addition, there will be a dance academy, residencies for artists, and finally, an international ballet company, along with many other programs for learning and engagement.

Humanity and Research Centre

The Center will also enable Armenians worldwide to connect with their roots and uncover their identity through experiential workshops, self-exploration, and research. In doing so, the Center will allow them to discover their purpose and answer one of Armenia’s and Armenians’ deepest existential questions: What is our place in the world?


The DanceAbility program is of particular importance, designed for children with multiple disabilities. The program will foster the better integration children with disabilities into society and help develop tolerance and understanding among community members.
Centre’s Components
⦁ Dance Academy with a program for Dancers and Choreographers
⦁ DanceAbility (program for children with multiple disabilities)
⦁ DanceLab (platform for creativity and experimentation)
⦁ Humanity and Movement Research Centre
⦁ Residency & Artistic Advancement Programs
⦁ Life Quality Improvement Programs
⦁ Events & Exhibitions
⦁ International Ballet Company

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At the core of the project is Roudolf Kharatian’s world-renowned dance philosophy and teaching method. He sees both
ballet and Armenian identity as concepts that have diverse roots and influences, and through this project seeks to delve deep into each source to understand its impact.

Kharatian’s method focuses on interlacing different components of American, European, and Russian approaches to dance as well as of various martial arts. The synthesis of these approaches creates an innovative understanding of ballet that is uniquely crafted and very effective.
His innovative approach to ballet explores movement on three different levels: physical, mental, and emotional. On the physical level, his methodology strengthens the body, creating flexibility, muscle memory, speed, coordination – everything needed for today’s ever-developing demands. The mental level controls the physical body within the space, and how to execute the choreography. The physical and the mental create the emotional level, creating what the viewer will feel. By looking at movement on these three levels, and by inscribing this understanding within the understanding of dance as an inherently scientific art, Kharatian’s philosophy of movement pushes new boundaries.

His teaching is built on the belief that ballet, as the confluence of athletics, spirituality, and artistry, is a transcendent tool that rallies humanity. These ideas guide his vision for the Center.

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The establishment of the center will contribute to improved infrastructure, urban development, employment opportunities and new investments, while leading to the growth of the arts and tourism in Gyumri.

The Center addresses a number of core social issues with expected positive results that will be achieved through several initiatives within the framework of its programs:

• Establishing life skills and resilience in children
• Youth empowerment
• Uplifting the lifestyle of the local elder generation
• Economic development
• Cultural development
• Health and nutrition (educating students on nutrition and a healthy lifestyle and how these affect performance, etc.)