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月別アーカイブ 2018年8月14日



From this time I will look back on her early childhood. Anahid loved dancing and dreamed of becoming a classic dancer. With a blessed talent and physical abilities, she built a career of classical dance.

(Images are posted with permission from Anahid. Unauthorized reproduction of images and texts is strictly prohibited.)

Anahid Sofianの公式サイトはこちら→ http://www.anahidsofianstudio.com/


Berdjouhi, Anahid’s mother the age of 16.

My parents were both from Turkey and emigrated to NYC in the late 1920s, where my older brother, Maral, and I were born. My name Anahid, is very ancient. It is the name of a pagan Armenian goddess. The Persians have the same goddess but named Anahita.

My father was a poet, and my mother had a gift for singing, I showed talent for dance from a very early age – any time music came on the radio, I would start to dance and twirl around. My mother wanted me to take dance lessons, but my father was old-world and very strict; respectable women didn’t dance. I was given piano lessons, and my older brother played the violin. I used to accompany him and we would do small performances for my parents’ friends.

However, at around 12 years of age, I was finally allowed to study ballet, tap and acrobatics. I developed very rapidly in ballet and I was taking many classes a week. My teacher put me on pointe and started to teach me a solo from Swan Lake privately.

Anahid at age 14 in her Swan Queen costume

Anahid does an acrobatic pose

Later as an adult, I also started to study modern dance with Bella Lewitsky, a protégé of Lester Horton, and other dance forms such as jazz and Afro-Cuban. My interest in middle eastern dance came much later.”




Editor’s Note
The reason I wanted to introduce Anahid’s Half-life note was that I happened to see a picture of her mother which she posted in SNS on this year’s “Mother’s Day”.
I only know Anahid as an oriental dance teacher.
“Where were she born, how did she grow up and where did she meet Oriental dance?”
I had such simple questions and interests.

Next time I will introduce encounters of Anahid and Oriental dance.


前書き  Preface

The third part of “Anahid Sofian” series is about her career as a choreographer.


Anahid Sofianの公式サイトはこちら→ http://www.anahidsofianstudio.com/



私が最初にカンパニーに振付けた作品「モロッコ」は、ニューヨーク州から賞を得ました。後年、モロッコのダンスと音楽に焦点を当てた完全作『マラケシュ 魔法陣の中で』というプログラムを作りました」

I know you are focusing specifically on the oriental dance, but activities as a choreographer also play a major part of my creative life.

I had a chance to go to Morocco in 1974, and that trip changed my life. It inspired me to form a company, which I did in 1979, and with my background in ballet and modern dancer, I combined my training as a classical dancer with folkloric forms. My first company choreography was titled “Morocco” and it won a grant from New York State. Later, I produced an entire program, Marrakech: Inside the Magic Circle, focusing on the dance and music of Morocco.



Anahid’s vision integrates artistic elements found in ballet, modern dance and contemporary music in ways that express and broaden the traditional forms without sacrificing their integrity or authenticity. This combination makes the Company’s repertory unique and original. Inspiration is drawn from the rich diversity of Middle Eastern cultures. Dances include many variations on Raqs Sharqi, known in the West as “bellydance” and found throughout the Near and Middle East, from the dances of the gypsies of Turkey to the traditional Awalim style from Egypt. Folkloric dances include earthy dances from Morocco and women’s dances from Armenia which reflect their grace and lyrical beauty.


Anahid has received several grants and awards, and her company has gained a reputation for quality work. They have performed on numerous mainstream stages such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. They also were regular favorites at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts over nearly ten years.


I (The editor) asked her a question;
Does your work as a choreographer help elevate the status of oriental dance?


Yes, I think so. As I said, I have made group choreographies of oriental dance for the stage, too, to show that it is not only a nightclub dance or a dance just for parties. Frankly, those oriental dance choreographies are the most popular ones in our shows – the audience really loves them! Exuberant, colorful, and all the dancers get to do solos to taxsims so each dancer is highlighted.”

Anahid Sofian Company’s major performance highlights are:

Festivals at Town Hall (1999, 2000 and 2003)
Marrakech: Inside the Magic Circle, at Baruch Performing Arts Center (2005)
Passage through Light and Shadow: The Children of Ararat, at the Theatre of St. Clements Church (2010)




(Editor’s Note)

Although it has been quite a long time, the third chapter focused on Anahid as a choreographer.

Her company has a high reputation for Middle Eastern dance and Oriental dance work, because Anahid learned about good choreography and theatre through her studies in ballet and modern dance and working with a professional modern dance company in Los Angeles. And the dancers in her company also have extensive dance backgrounds, in addition to training with Anahid.

Why did she decide to enter the way of oriental dance with a career in classical dance such as ballet and modern dance?
From next time I would like to follow her walking path from early childhood.