I mixed belly dance and kochari - Anna Pipoyan

21:48, January 24

By Marina Adulyan

Belly dancer Anna Pipoyan from New York has been dancing since she was 5. Now dreams about opening a dance school and releasing DVDs to teach belly dancing. Talking to STYLE Anna told her story.   

 You have been dancing since you were 17. How did you turn to belly dancing?

I have been dancing since I was 5. It started in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, I went to a ballet school and then was accepted choreography school in Yerevan were I graduated with diploma at the age of 16. Then it was New York! I took classes in famous belly dance school “Serena Studios”. In Broadway dance school I learnt flamenco and jazz ballet. I heard about belly dance accidentally through friend. My mother also gave me an idea. So I tried and fell in love with it.

What do you feel when dancing? What do you want to express by your dance?

It is always been self expression for me. Although belly dance is my main profession, I am very versatile in dancing. My background is classical ballet and Armenian national dance so it gave me strong base to be able to learn other type of dances. For me dance is an international language where you can talk to people through movements and it gives you also an opportunity to be someone else, someone that you dreamt to be. I treat dance as communication between body and soul used to express something which is too deep to be expressed by words.

What is your family’s attitude to your profession?

Positive. I have been always supported by my father and mother. She pushed me to dance. I am from a musical family. My father, Michael Pipoyan was (he passed away) a singer and my aunt, Lilith Pipoyan, is a singer in Armenia.

Who is designing your costumes and accessories?

They are mainly designed by me. I love fashion and love creating completely different looks. In New York you can find inspiration easily, it is everywhere you go.

On your Facebook you posted a photo in Armenian national costume and wrote it was for an Armenian dance. What dance is it? Did you manage to mix Armenian dance with belly dancing?

I have been dancing Armenian national dances for 6 years. I could not ignore my background so I mixed kochari [Armenian dance] and belly dance. People love it. I transfer from one dance to completely another one within seconds. You must keep people interested. So why not to mix it all up?

One of your interviews said you had worked with Beyonce . How was it working with her? Did you accompany her or teach some elements?

I was hired to dance for an event. It was a party in New York. Many celebrities, including Beyonce have been invited. I was performing with my group. Beyonce saw me and invited to dance to another one event. She is truly an extraordinary human being, a nice person. She showed me some moves and me, too.

Do you plan to open a dance school?

Yes, it is my main goal for this year. I have been giving dance classes for 7 years. Now I am working on my two instructional DVDs to be released in April.

Do you think dancing can become a profession in Armenia?

I still hope so, didn’t think so before but I see that Armenia has became very progressive.

When did you visit Armenia last? Do you want to stage a performance in Armenia?

I was there four years ago after 12 years of absence I was shocked by positive changes. I am thinking about project, may be a joint performance with my aunt. I am currently acting in film “Welcome Home” by incredible director Angelina Nikonova I will be playing a role completely different from my profession – a housewife with three kids. It is a challenging role, and I do recommend to watch it.

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