Better late than never

My fondest memories as a dance spectator stretch back more than thirty years: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in 1987 (Tampa, Florida) and every dance performance in Zellerbach Auditorium (Berkeley, California) during my last two years as an undergraduate. I was fortunate to experience Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 1989 and attend performances of TwylaContinue reading “Better late than never”

Dancing through Difficult Times

In a daze from depressing news, I wonder how to keep focused on dance research and writing. The news all over the world makes me want to find a cave and hibernate until some future fantasy when I can wake up to a less violent world: where people are not killed or oppressed based onContinue reading “Dancing through Difficult Times”

The Colors of Yasuj

In 2015 on an annual trip to Shiraz, my parents raved about an extraordinary Lori driver-guide they’d met in Yasuj, Farhang Heidari.  I called him to ask if he was available to guide my father and I in the next few days.  Greeting me as hamshireh (meaning sister – although the word literally means someoneContinue reading “The Colors of Yasuj”

Birding before a Turkamani wedding

Between two nights of Turkamani wedding festivities in Syjval, Golestan Province, I traveled to the docks at Bandar Torkaman early one morning. My aunt had mentioned that migratory birds could still be seen in Āshurādeh, an island in the Miānkāleh Peninsula about 3km from Bandar Torkaman. There were guided boats that offered bird-watching.  Although weContinue reading “Birding before a Turkamani wedding”

Documenting Dance in Iran

For over forty years, dance has been prohibited in public spaces in Iran. In the past two decades however, male folk dance troupes have become increasingly visible under the officially approved terminology of ā’inhā-ye namāyeshi (theatrical rituals) or bāzihāye mahalli (local games).

A Deeper Look

I was born and raised in Shiraz, where ancient Persian history was always very palpable. The remains of Persepolis (the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire) were less than an hour drive away. Every time relatives came to visit, Bāgh-e Eram, Bāzār-e Vakil, Hāfezieh and Saadieh were must sees. My deepest memories are tied toContinue reading “A Deeper Look”

Finally, the Desert

Born and raised in Shiraz, Iran with relatives in Dezful and Tehran, I had never experienced a desert in Iran until a trip to Yazd in 2017. I accepted the invitation to accompany a friend who planned to take a three-day tour of Yazd by bus. I anticipated visiting the water museum, walking through theContinue reading “Finally, the Desert”

The Caspian Coast

On 2008 I spent several days in Gilan visiting the city of Rasht, the Caspian coast at Bandar Anzali, and the beautiful Mordab-e Anzali Wetlands. Although I have childhood memories of family trips driving up the windy Chalus road to the coast, this was the first time the tea fields and the rice fields onContinue reading “The Caspian Coast”

Wondrous Surprises

Along our travels to observe folk dances throughout Iran, we often experienced wondrous surprises. Like the day before we were expected at an engagement ceremony in Sanandaj…. From Kermanshah we chose to go through Ravānsar and further north. Green pastures and mountains in the distance accompanied us until we arrived to the famous water cave:Continue reading “Wondrous Surprises”