Thursday, October 13, 2016

Meet a Dancer: Melenie Diarbekirian

In preparation for Luminarium's 2016 feature production PORTAL: Stories from the Edge, Luminarium's Publicity Intern, Lillian Gaylord, has interviewed each of the performers to better introduce them to you—our followers. Enjoy getting to know Melenie Diarbekirian, then come see her perform at the show: November 11 & 12 at the Boston University Dance Theater. Grab your tickets here!

Melenie Diarbekirian

Company Member since 2011

Photo: Kristyn Ulanday

LG: The “rabbit hole cycles” was first performed for Spektrel, and has been reworked for this year’s show, can you talk a bit about what was reworked and what that process was like?

MD: A duet between dancer Nikki Girroir and I has been added to the beginning of rabbit hole cycles. Other additions are still in the process of being worked out. It's been an interesting challenge diving back into this lengthy work, especially to get back into the mental state. The words that come to mind when performing this piece are dark, sneaky, and loony. It's been a challenge mentally, not only to figure out how to portray these emotions with the new choreography added and what my relationship with Nikki is, but getting the sequence of the piece has taken a number on my brain as well.

Melenie and Nikki rehearsing their new opening duet for rabbit hole cycles.

LG: You dance with various companies in the Boston area; what is unique about Luminarium?

MD: I feel grateful to have been with Luminarium for going on my 6th season. Every year, there is a new piece (or few new pieces) created that either involve intricate lighting, and/or some sort of prop.  In some cases, the source of light is the prop. These elements never take away, but add to the overall performance, and because we use them so often, it makes us stand out among other companies in the Boston area.  

LG: As an artist, how do you relate to the theme of Merli’s new work, “The Grass Never Grows Under Your Feet”?

MD: To be honest, I have never heard of the phrase "The Grass Never Grows Under Your Feet."  Merli introduced this to us in rehearsal and it's safe to say no one else knew what she was talking about either. After explaining to us what it meant, I relate to this phrase more on a personal level. I'm always looking to get things done, or want fast results for everything I do. When I slow down I feel as though I'm wasting time, or I'm not doing absolutely everything that I can be doing within 24 hours of a day. This piece explores what happens and what possibilities come up if you actually take the time to slow down and "let the grass grow under your feet." I'm looking forward to pulling from my own experiences when performing this to contribute to the piece as a whole.

Melenie performing with Luminarium at the Boston Opera House in June 2016.

LG: The TEDxCambridge Piece was a rousing success at the Boston Opera House, are you excited to be performing it again at BU?

MD: It's always a bummer when you only have just one shot to perform a piece that you put so much time and effort into. It doesn't allow you many chances to experience the difference from one performance to another. Needless to say, I'm definitely excited to bring this piece to the BU Dance Theater! 

NOVEMBER 11 & 12 . 8PM
Boston University Dance Theater
Boston MA

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