Rudolf Kharatyan started his ballet career in Armenian in the 1970s and went on to become a highly accomplished soloist touring the world in the Soviet Ballet. Seeking greater artistic freedom, during perestroika Rudolf immigrated to Canada then the US where he continued his dance career. He eventually became a renowned ballet teacher and even the personal instructor of President Bill Clinton's daughter. Over his 50 year career, Rudolf developed a unique philosophy and teaching method which connects ballet to spirituality and mysticism. Spiral follows Rudolf 30 years after he left Armenia and has been invited home by the Armenia Ministry of Culture to breath new life to the struggling National ballet. Rudolf strives to turn the insular, undisciplined troupe into a modern company, but despite his success around the world, he is not welcomed back by everyone. His search for excellence and unorthodox methods divide the company. On the dance floor, Rudolf comes head to head with Ruben, the charismatic principle male dancer that has tremendous influence over every aspect of the company. Their relationship is volatile and often disrupts the entire troupe. Off the dance floor, Rudolf struggles with a meager budget to improve the facilities and expand the repertoire. He dreams of staging a modern, purely Armenian ballet to represent Armenia on the world stage but tension continues to build in the company his plans are thwarted. Rudolf must decide if he will give up and return to the US, or continue to struggle to realize his vision for the Armenian ballet and his homeland.
CAST & CREW
Director of Photography
Karen Baghinyan, Jeff Kalousdian
20 Years Later Films
Spiral is Jeff Kalousdian’s directorial debut. He was born in California and moved to Armenia right after independence from the Soviet Union and has lived and worked in the region since. Prior to making the leap into film-making, MA Jeff worked in international development heading projects in many of the world's hot spots for organizations such UN Refugee Agency, Save the Children, and the Danish Refugee Council among others. In 2009, he took his first step into the film industry co-producing Braden King's feature Here which went on to be screened in over 25 festivals worldwide, including Sundance and Berlin. In 2011, Jeff won the Paul Award for his first feature film script The Florist, a story about love and loss in the frozen conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. As a writer/producer, he currently has several films in development including Mariposa which participated in When East Meets West in Trieste, Italy, and the Baja International Co-production Market in Mexico.