AROVA explores the passion and dedication of Dame Sonia Arova, a Bulgarian Ballerina, who influenced the dance world a great deal. Among her many dance partners, she is known for partnering with Rudolf Nureyev, Erik Bruhn, and Thor Sutowski.

Her training during WWII shaped how she would train other dancers. Wisdom, physical strength, and emotional endurance were woven into each dancer she taught. This legacy of training has been passed down through her pupils and continues to live through current dancers and teachers today.

In 1976, she and her husband Thor Sutowski came to Birmingham, Alabama to teach at the Alabama School of Fine Arts establishing it as a major dance program in the U.S. Sonia was also the founding Artistic Director of the Alabama Ballet.

My goal is to educate the dance community about their roots. We tend to glorify dancers like Margot Fontyn, Rudolf Nureyev, and Mikhail Baryshnikov, but forget the other dancers that also paved the way for the generation that followed them. Those dancers who have been forgotten need to be discovered again and I want to secure Sonia’s place in dance history.

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