We have arrived in Yerevan.
We are already at the end of our second day of our stay but let me explain a bit more about the beginning.
We have spent the last couple of months writing texts for portfolios and applications, we have written a large amount of emails to Armenian institutions and with our contacts in Yeravan. The preparation has been intense next to other simultanious occupations.
Today the work we have been looking forward to begun.
On the first of July I took the train to Paris. On the second of July Anna and I carried our suitcases through the metro of Paris and got on our flight to Yeravan. We arrived at eight o'clock in the evening, local time, which is UTC+4. Nedav, a half Armenian, American born, currently living in Bangkok painter and writer, who is another resident at the Art and Culture Studies Laboratory, showed us around the neighborhood.
We are staying in a high school for cultural studies in a suburb to Yerevan. It has a long Armenian name but because it's so far away from the city center the locals started calling the suburb Bangladesh.
It is a big maze of the typical apartment buildings built during the Soviet empire; big blocks placed on top of each other.
The director of the residency, Susanna Gyulamiryan, is helping us with everything: how to get around in Yerevan, practical matters, finding a sewing machine for Anna and today she took us to meet a group of dancers that we will work with during the project.
We described our idea and Susanna stayed to translate until Nuni, who studies linguistics came to take over, she will be with us all the way.
We did instant composition and creative exercises where they had to build narratives from pictures and create paths with small rocks that they later embodied.
They were increadibly enthusiastic and motivated. It was great to see and experience. There were eleven women around the age twenty who study choreography but because our time is limited we decided to make a selection and work with maximum five of them. We have a challenging task for the coming couple of days. This is the first time both Anna and I have a selection of this sort and it is not easy.
We will spend the coming week gathering raw material by, for example, interviewing inhabitants. We already have some great candidates: Nuni, the lady who cooks for the children who go to day care in the school, and Annahit, and English teacher who works in the building for handicrafts where the sewing machine is.
The work has begun!