The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
George and Irina Arabagi
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Information: George and Irina Arabagi, teachers of Ukrainian and Moldovan dance.
George and Irina Arabagi are graduates with honors of the Choreographic College in Kyiv, Ukraine, and former principal dancers with the Moldavian State Academic Dance Company JOC, which has toured more than 25 countries around the world. During their time in JOC, George was awarded the title of "People's Artist" and Irina "Merited Artist of Moldova."
In 1999, George and Irina settled in Sacramento, California. Shortly after that, they became the directors and choreographers of the local Ukrainian children's ensemble, Sonechko, which in 2006 merged with the adult Ukrainian group, Kalyna. The group kept the latter name.
In March 2011, George and Irina taught at the Camellia International Dance Festival in Sacramento and have taught at the Stockton Folk Dance Camp.
George graduated from the Moldavian Choreographic College of Kishinev, Moldova, and was "Principal Dancer" of the Moldavian State Academic Dance Company JOK. He was named "People Artist" of the Republic of Moldova for artistic achievement and contributions to that same company. George was also "Artist de Ballet" in the Baltic Navy Dance Ensemble of Kaliningrad, Russia.
Irina graduated with honors in the Vaganova ballet style from the Choreographic College of Kiev, Ukraine, and from the Moldavian State Pedagogical University with a Bachelor Degree in choreography. She was "Principal Dancer" of the Moldavian State Dance Company JOK and was named “Honored Artist” of the Republic of Moldova for artistic achievements to that company. Irina was also "Artist de Ballet" in the Theater of Opera and Ballet in Kiev.
The Ukrainian Dance Ensemble Kalyna is made up of enthusiastic dancers, ranging from 13 to 16 years of age, all originating from different parts of the Ukraine. The dancers are led by George and Irina.
George and Irina lead the Arabagi Dance School in Sacramento, California. George is a teaching assistant at the Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD) in Sacramento.
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