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 […]

“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 […]

“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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]


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 […]

“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 […]

“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 […]

“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 […]