Position: Director Trainee Program
Affiliation with organization: 2019 – Present
Years active at YAGP:2014 – Present
Aram Manukyan began his ballet training at the Armenian Choreography Academy where he studied the Vaganova method under Rafael Avnikian and Maxim Martirosian. At age 17, his aptitude for teaching was recognized and he was selected for a scholarship at the Russian University of Theatre Arts, GITIS, in Moscow. He returned to Armenia and danced with the Armenian National Ballet. He then danced as a soloist with the Ukrainian State Opera Ballet Theatres in Kharkov and Donetsk. He danced all the great classical ballets and was critically acclaimed for his portrayal of Tybalt in Leonid Lavrovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. Subsequently, Mr. Manukyan was invited to the United States and danced principal and soloist roles with companies in Annapolis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Sarasota, teaching all the while. Mr. Manukyan then became Artistic Director of the BGLV/Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. From there, Murray Kilgour invited him to Alberta as a ballet and character dance teacher. Alberta Ballet School has enabled him to broaden his knowledge of ballet pedagogy in studying Cecchetti with Nancy Kilgour and pas de Deux with Murray Kilgour.
With the launch of Alberta Ballet II in July 2014, Mr. Manukyan was appointed the program’s Director. Mr. Manukyan delights in teaching today’s students the rich history of dance through the development of character work and its impact on ballet technique. His extensive experience as a professional dancer and his work around the world have enabled him to bring a unique perspective to Alberta Ballet School. His ability to re-stage excerpts from the classics for younger students allows them to gain an appreciation for very complex movement and characterization appropriate to their abilities. Through developing a strong technical foundation, Mr. Manukyan’s students become adaptable, versatile, and open to the tremendous range of expression anticipated of today’s professional dancers.