On the 23th of March 2006 Tineke van Geel, teacher
of Armenian folk dance, received special honours from the Ministry
of Culture and Youth in Yerevan, Armenia.
She was given this award by Mr. G. Manassian, deputy Minister,
for her extraordinary devotion and energy in promoting Armenian
dance, music and culture over the past twenty five years. Tineke
teaches dance workshops in many countries and continents in
the world, a fact that didn’t remain unnoticed in Armenia.
Several Armenian television stations showed interest for the
uncommon fact that a non-Armenian occupies herself for such
a long period of time and with great enthusiasm with Armenia
and Armenian folk dance.
The internet newspaper Armenianow, which appears in both Armenia
and in the Armenian Diaspora, also devoted an article to this occasion.
On Armenian television Tineke mentioned the contribution that
several Armenian musicians have made to the realisation of a
number of CDs that Tineke has produced on her own Van Geel Records
label. Striking fact is that these CDs are now offered as illegal
copies in Armenia and enjoy immense popularity among both buyers
and sellers. She has experienced that revealing her identity
and being Mrs. Van Geel Records herself does not lead to a remorseful
response of the vendors. On the contrary: they are bewildered
to meet her in person and assure her that her CDs are
the best in their collection of folk music’.
Beside her activities as a dance teacher, Tineke organises dance
tours to Armenia, which draw an international group of participants.