Videos

Karevan

The style of dance is called “Bandari” (the word “Bandar” means port in Persian). The music and dance style are highly influenced by both Arab and African rhythms and movement. This piece not only celebrates the arrival from a long journey, but the journey itself.

Choreography by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Performed in 2003 by SDA company members Fatemeh Ahdi Bani-Taba, Ari Bauers, Linahla Bulatao, Julie Ferrazzani, Rebekah Fessenden, Rania Flores, Monica Graham, Kim Mendes, Jennifer Shindelus, and April Wakeman
Music by Bandarneshinan Ensemble
Videography by Michael Mares

“Ghalibaf” (Rugweaver)

A woman is weaving a rug, as she has every day of her life since childhood. The geometric shapes and patterns of the rug, along with the repetitive motion of the weaving, lead her into a trance where she begins to dance with the shapes and patterns of her inner music.

Choreographed and Performed in 2003 by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Music by Habil Aliyev
Videography by John Strader

“Be Yad-e Gilan” (In Remembrance of Gilan)

A folk dance from Ghasemabad, in northern Iran. This dance is about harvesting rice, the most abundant and popular food from that region. As in most folk dances, kids and adults dance together to celebrate the abundance of food. SDA students perform the Persian snap, beshkan, while dancing, to accentuate the rhythm.

Choreography by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Performed in 2004 by SDA students Anna Ansari, Mehrnush Golriz, Deellan Kashani, Saba Keramati, Neeka Mahdavi, Bahar Ostadan, Tina Saadi, Mitra Yazdi
Music arranged by Hossein Hamidi
Videography by Lore Ahmadi

“Talkh o Shirin” (Bittersweet)

Life is made up of opposing forces and without one, the other does not exist. When we learn to not only accept both forces, but also perceive them as one integrated entity, we have begun to understand the essence of life.

Choreography by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Performed in 2006 by SDA Company members Rebekah Fessenden and Alison Weir
Music by Alsoush & The Human Exchange
Videography by Jen Cohen

Not Without You

This dance portrays the pleasure in suffering from yearning for something/someone unreachable, a very common concept in Persian poetry and music.

Choreography by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Performed in 2003 by SDA Company members Linahla Bulataos, Julie Ferrazzani, Shahrzad Khorsandi, Claire Miller, Jennifer Shindelus
Music by Axiom of Choice
Videography by John Strader

Finding Peace

This dance was choreographed in reflection of September 11th. It portrays the state of mind and emotions experienced after a tragic loss. It also explores the emotional path to freedom from anger, confusion, and pain.

Choreographed and performed by Shahrzad Khorsandi in 2003
Music by Jalal and Soheil Zolfonoun
Videography by John Strader

“Al-Munaajat” (Intimate Discourse)

This fusion piece, performed in the style of Contemporary Persian Ballet, explores the mutual effect of two people on each other as a result of their relationship. Sometimes it may seem that only one person affects the other, but inevitably in the end both are equally changed.

Choreography by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Performed in 2008 by Azadeh Poursepanj and Laila Sadat-Sharifi
Music by Atash
Videography by Ali Poursepanj

“Chai-khooneh” (Teahouse)

This style of Persian dance is refered to as Jaheli. The word Jahel, meaning ignorant and juvenile, refers to a Persian male street character who is very macho and somewhat of a neighborhood bully. A Jahel’s typical place to hang out and have tea with other Jahels is the neighborhood teahouse.

Choreography by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Performed in 2004 by SDA company members Linahla Bulatao, Rebekah Fessenden, Shahrzad Khorsandi, Kim Mendes, Jennifer Shindelus, April Wakeman, Alison Weir
Music by Persian Dance Music (Caltex Records)
Videography by Lore Ahmadi

BAM

On Friday, December 26, 2003, an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 hit the city of Bam in Southeastern Iran. The official death toll was reported to be over 43,000. The unofficial death toll, however, is closer to 70,000. Eighty-five percent of the city’s buildings were destroyed or severely damaged, leaving 75,000 survivors dazed and homeless. This dance was inspired by the musical composition by Houman Pourmehdi in reaction to the earthquake, and dedicated to those who lost their dear ones in the tragedy.

Choreography by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Performed in 2006 by SDA Company members Katy Barnhill, Cera Byer, Rebekah Fessenden, Shahrzad Khorsandi, Kim Mendes, Toni Silver, Charlise Tiee
Music: Houman Pourmehdi (Lian Ensemble)
Videography by Jen Cohen

“Baroon” (Rain)

A prayer for rain is answered. This dance represents the bounty of harvest and the unity of a village, working hard and in harmony in planting seeds,   and sharing the bread.

Choreography by Shahrzad Khorsandi Performed in 2003 by SDA Company members Rania Flores, Shahrzad Khorsandi, Kim Mendes, Debbie Smith, Sana Webb Music by Sima Bina                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Videography by John Strader

“Atash” (Fire)

Fire is worshiped in the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. It represents, light, all that is good, as opposed to darkness, all that is evil. Fire is warm and comforting, it is blazing and scorching, it is welcoming and it is explosive, mesmerizing and destructive. SDA Company members perform this fusion of dance that explores the kinetic and visual dynamics of fire.

Choregraphy by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Performed in 2006 by SDA Company members Katy Barnhill, Julie Ferrizanni, Rebekah Fessenden, Shahrzad Khorsandi, Toni Silver
Music by Parviz Meshkatian and Houman Pourmehdi (Lian Ensemble)
Videography by Jen Cohen

“Aroosak” (Doll)

This dance is an excerpt from a theatrical piece where a child’s doll comes to life as the child sleeps. The dance plays on the fine line between image and reality. Is it real? Or is it an illusion?!

Choreographed and Performed in 2003 by Shahrzad Khorsandi
Music by Persian Dance Music (Caltex Records)
Videography by Michael Mares