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Founder and Artistic Director

Roudolf Kharatian has had an illustrious international career as dancer, choreographer, teacher and director. A prolific choreographer, Kharatian is the creator of over 100 original works ranging from avant‐garde / experimental to classical. Kharatian’s ballets, which include full‐length works, one-act ballets and concert pieces, have been performed on stages worldwide. Roudolf Kharatian served as Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Armenia for five seasons, from October 2009 to April 2014, during which time the company’s repertoire was enriched with more than 31 ballets, old and new. Kharatian is currently resident choreographer of the National Ballet of Armenia.

A recipient of numerous awards and medals, Kharatian holds a Master’s Degree in Choreography and Stage Production from the Moscow University of Theatre Arts (GITIS). He is a graduate of the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg where he studied with the legendary teacher Pushkin alongside classmate Mikhail Baryshnikov. As principal dancer with the National Ballet of Armenia from 1967 to 1991, he toured the world with the Bolshoi Ballet and Stars of the Russian Ballet. He was Artistic Director of the Chamber Ballet of Armenia from 1979 to 1991, and headed the dance department of the Yerevan School of the Arts from 1973 to 1979. He is the founder and Artistic Director of ARKA Ballet in Washington, D.C. He is also the founder and president of the Ballet 2021 Foundation and Artistic Director of Ballet 2021.

A renowned master teacher, Kharatian has taught for the Kirov Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Boston Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, the Youth Ballet of Brazil, the Debra Colker Dance Company, the North Carolina School of the Arts, among others. He has also worked with the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore, and with Les Ballets Classiques de Montreal and Ballet Divertimento in Montreal, Canada. Kharatian served on the faculty of Washington’s Kirov Academy for three years (1991 to 1994) and that of The Washington School of Ballet for thirteen years (1994 to 2007). He was invited back to the Kirov Academy as guest instructor in spring 2009 and was on the faculty of CityDance Centre at Strathmore and company teacher for CityDanceEnsemble for two years (2007–2009) prior to being invited to assume the position of Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Armenia. Under his coaching and guidance, Kharatian’s students have garnered top honors at the most important international ballet competitions and gone on to successful careers with some of the world’s foremost companies including the Kirov Maryinsky Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and many more.

Kharatian is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist, speaking about a broad range of ballet and movement‐related topics. He has been a featured panelist on the Critic’s Panel at the annual Dance Critics of America conference. In addition to his work in ballet, Kharatian has extensive experience in television, film, theatre and opera. He was the Creative Producer and permanent member of the jury of the inaugural season of the hit ShantTV show ‘So You Think You Can Dance Armenia – Պարիր, թե կարող ես’. Kharatian is also an accomplished and celebrated visual artist; his paintings are in private collections in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, South Africa and Armenia.

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