Interesting memories, perception of the world and self-discovery — artistic director of Amaras Dance Ensemble Vika Martirosyan shared her stories during the show STORIES.
STORIES: Greetings, Vika. I’m glad that today we will try to discover you from another perspective. I believe you will agree that a person’s essence and traits are shaped during childhood. How were you like as a child?
Vika Martirosyan: I was very active. I was born to a family of dancers and artists and remember that I was always by my parents’ side. I didn’t have much free time, and if I did have free time, I loved playing soccer with the boys in the yard.
My parents were soloists of the Tatul Altunyan State Song-Dance Ensemble for 20 years and then danced in the State Dance Ensemble of Armenia. My sister and I would tour with them. It was very interesting for me, and I think it helped me and my sister take the right path in life.
STORIES: When you would be backstage and watch your parents perform, did you ever think that you would also perform on stage someday?
Vika Martirosyan: I would lie, if I said no. I knew what I was going to do when I was a child. I loved dance. It’s not like I was forced to go to dance lessons. I’m very grateful and happy that my parents set me and my sister on the right track, especially me.
STORIES: What marked traits did you have?
Vika Martirosyan: I was active and a little stubborn. I would always aspire to be a classic dancer. My parents would always say it was going to be hard for me, but I was ready for it.
My sister and I had a great childhood. My sister was also one of the soloists of the State Dance Ensemble of Armenia. My sister and I have a strong connection. She made sure I also explored modern dance.
STORIES: Your sister didn’t continue her dancing career in Armenia, but you continued as a dancer.
Vika Martirosyan: My sister and I have talked about this a lot. The reason why she didn’t continue is because she got married and is currently living in Egypt. She had to leave dance behind, even though she continues to teach Armenian dance for the Armenian community in Cairo. When she left Armenia, I realized that I had to take responsibility because it was a huge task. The group was rather popular, and it would be very wrong to leave Amaras. This is why I tried to teach not only folk dances, but also modern dances.
STORIES: You also started a beautiful family, and even though Petros is not a dancer, he always supports you. Can you tell us how you met? How did he propose to you? Was it love at first sight?
Vika Martirosyan: The first time Petros saw me was on stage. Many people know this story. Petros was a classmate of our very beloved Emmy [singer]. I was going to perform at Emmy’s concert. Her classmates were also invited, and Petros saw me at the concert. As you said, it was love at first sight. We were both 18 years old. After dating for 7 years, we got married and have a wonderful family. I am happy that he always supports me and stands by my side.
STORIES: How did you and your husband feel when Nanul was born?
Vika Martirosyan: Nanul is the queen of our house. I never imagined that I could have a second child and love that child as much as I love Nanul. Everyone in the yard of the hospital was waiting for Nanul to be born. Nanul is one of my best lifetime achievements. She is growing up to be a very smart and good girl. I am proud of her. Nanul and my son Levon are six years apart. Since I have always dreamed of having a brother and didn’t have one, I obviously wanted my second child to be a boy. When we found out we were going to have a boy, I was more than happy.
STORIES: How does your family greet you when you come home tired from work?
Vika Martirosyan: Nanul is stronger and used to it. I was working when Nanul was only 40 days old. As far as Levon is concerned, he takes my absence hard and doesn’t want to sleep without me by his side. I feel bad about it. When they ask me why I don’t want to have a third child, I tell people it would be better to be satisfied with two children and put them on the right track.
STORIES: Vik, your childhood and Nanul’s childhood are very similar…
Vika Martirosyan: My mother says Nanul is my duplicate since our childhoods are very similar. We have many flaws, but I’m certain that she will be like me. This might sound immodest, but I have never made wrong decisions in my life, and I think Nanul will be like that too, if not better.
STORIES: Let’s make the transition from your persona life to your career. Although Amaras has had dancers of different generations, it has maintained its positions and moved forward with persistence. What is the secret?
Vika Martirosyan: The secret lies in me (laughing). Perhaps I am very stubborn and haven’t changed, and this hasn’t changed the group. Directing the group is a big responsibility. My father transferred the group to me, and I have been directing it for the past 19 years. I try to work the way he did. I try to keep up with the pace today.
STORIES: You collaborate with many celebrities and choreograph all the dances. You are demanding, and I know it’s also hard to work with you.
Vika Martirosyan: I can’t change that trait of mine, and I am happy for that. If you are not demanding, it will turn out that you are an average dancer or don’t do your job fully.
STORIES: How do you work with celebrities? Is it easy?
Vika Martirosyan: Some celebrities are easy to work with, while others are hard to work with. Overall, this job is a very easy job for me since classic dance has always been at the peak for me and one of the most difficult dances. If you know it ideally, the rest is always easy. Armenian singers and dancers love it when things are easy, but I never agree with this. They know that they have to work hard to achieve good results.
STORIES: In our days, Tik Tok has become the most active social network, and you are also very active on Tik Tok.
Vika Martirosyan: I am actually a fan of Instagram, but I have a wonderful manager, who makes sure I am active wherever she senses I need to be active. I would tell her children are on Tik Tok, she explained to me that I need to be on Tik Tok as well since I am among the leaders on Facebook and Instagram.
STORIES: Do you like Tik Tok?
Vika Martirosyan: Yes, and no. Sometimes I get frustrated since there is so much responsibility and I have so many students, but I need to be on Tik Tok.
STORIES: Vik, I had to touch upon the war that took place last year. I know one of your dancers was killed.
Vika Martirosyan: Just four days ago, I was looking for photos and saw the photos of our concert tour. Tigran was with us. We spent a week in Paris with Tigran. Those who didn’t know him can’t imagine what kind of a person he was. He was positive and had a sense of humor…I don’t know, it is a great pity that he and the other boys are no longer with us. I wish his mother and family members patience, and I wish us all patience so we can lie with this pain. I can’t find the words…I still can’t believe that Tigran is no longer with us. I only remember good things about him whenever I hear his name.
STORIES: What are your goals and dreams? When you take a look back at your career, is there anything you would change?
Vika Martirosyan: There is nothing I would want to change. I don’t have goals or dreams that are associated with me. I have goals and dreams for my children, especially Nanul, and it is because I know what Nanul can do. True, she is currently passive and is involved in her studies, but I have big dreams for Nanul. I think she can become a great pop singer and dancer.
STORIES: Vik, at the end of my interviews, I always ask my guests the following question: If you wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Vika Martirosyan: I have never thought about it, but…I would probably title it “Story of Vika”. It would be chaos…and it would probably be my chaos. I have never thought about it, but it would be very interesting.
STORIES: What story would you share and what story would you exclude?
Vika Martirosyan: Frankly, even at home when we talk, I can’t share bad memories since I didn’t have a difficult childhood. The only difficulty was that it was always my duty to wake up and go to class. Classic dance is the most difficult. I didn’t have time to play and go to nice places, but I would like the part about war in 2020 to be taken out because we experienced inexplicably difficult times during those days. I hope this does not have a bad impact on our children in the future and does not impact their health. For example, my daughter is very emotional and understands many things. She also takes it hard.
Photos by Arsen Sargsyan
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