NEW YORK – Nowadays there are not too many old-fashioned impresarios left in the field of dance in the United States. Ardani Artists, in the person of founders Sergei and Gaiane Danilian, fills that gap, but its work is threatened, like many other things, by the novel coronavirus.
Their dream started decades earlier in Moscow, in 1990, when the duo founded this management firm. It brought many famous American artists to Russia and began sending Russian ballet stars to the US. In 1992, Gaiane, Sergei’s wife, moved to the US with their two sons but Sergei worked in both countries and delayed finalizing his move till 1998. Ardani Artists established its offices in New York City Center in 1994.
Sergei was born in Sumgait, Azerbaijan but went to Russia for his education, where he met his wife and future business partner Gaiane. Gaiane was born in Yerevan and moved to Moscow at the age of 13. Sergei and Gaiane both studied in the Russian Academy of Theater Arts and afterwards worked for various theaters. Sergei eventually began organizing dance and theater tours.
Gaiane and Sergei’s son Armen was staying with his grandparents in Sumgait in early 1988. Gaiane relates that when tensions began to increase in Azerbaijan that year, she had a bad feeling or some sort of mother’s intuition. She spoke with her mother-in-law and asked that her in-laws bring Armen and come together to Moscow, but the latter replied that everything was safe and that they were looking forward to celebrating Armen’s birthday on March 1.