ARKA Ballet is a professional ballet company based in Washington, DC. ARKA is the Armenian word for "king," and also refers to "chest," "vessel" and "the human heart." The brainchild of founder and artistic director Roudolf Kharatian, the company debuted in April 1999 at the Kennedy Center. Since then, the group has performed at GW's Lisner Auditorium; at the Kennedy Center in: Dance for Life, a gala benefit for the Whitman Walker Clinic; in Music that Moves and Meet Mr. Beethoven with the National Symphony Orchestra; and at the Mary Louise Jackson Amphitheater in Virginia. ARKA Ballet also performs in schools and senior centers throughout the area. Presenting a fresh and unique mix of classical and contemporary ballet, the company is revitalizing ballet in DC. Most of ARKA Ballet's dancers are from the Washington area, and all are classically trained, talented, professional ballet dancers. ARKA Ballet often showcases international stars that Washington area audiences might not otherwise have an opportunity to see. ARKA Ballet is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring quality dance to diverse audiences and to nurture, develop, and showcase international level dance talent through inspiring and challenging choreography. ARKA Ballet is committed to the development of the art of ballet as a contemporary form of expression. ARKA Ballet's goal is much more than to simply entertain, believing that through dance people's hearts and minds are touched with beauty, goodness, truth, love, and hope.