Current Exhibition

Portrait of Emily Sarkissian

For most dancers, dance is much much more than a profession or an expression of their artistry. It is part of their DNA; sitting at the core of their emotional, physical, and mental well-being. They dance because they must. They dance to share, to feel, to breath and to live.


Emily Sarkissian is one of those beings.

Born and raised in the New England, she was deeply immersed in classical and modern ballet from the age of 5. She trained with Mihailo Djuric at Ballet New England and toured with the company through high school before leaving to study dance and theater at the University of Utah.


She left after a year thinking she was finished with ballet and maybe even dance – but returned a few years later to study modern dance at Appalachian State and UNC in Nashville NC.

From NC she moved to Chicago where she studied with Nana Shineflug, Birute Barodicaite, Peff Modelski and danced with numerous companies including Esoteric Dance Project, Kelly Anderson Dance and SilDance/AcroDanza.


But that beating heart of dance was also drawing her back to ballet, and also to what she told me was always her dream home – New York City.

She is now working, creating, making films, and teaching in New York – and back dancing modern ballet with Lydia Johnson.


Emily is bold, passionate, funny, tenacious, and, at times, vulnerable – and was a fantastic collaborator in this portrait series. The breadth, depth and openness of her personality shone through clearly and brightly for me and I hope you see her as strongly as I do.

Part way through the shoot she grabbed her phone and took a wide-angle selfie with me and the lighting equipment and studio in the background and posted it with the quote: “not a bad way to spend a NYC Thursday afternoon”!


I couldn’t agree more. Thank you Emily.

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