“It was in China, late one moonless night, the Simorgh first appeared to mortal sight. He let a feather float down through the air, and rumors of its fame spread everywhere.” ~Farid ud-Din Attar
Simorgh Dance Collective
In 2007, Farima Berenji established the Farima Dance Company in the San Francisco Bay Area, a dance ensemble that seeks to interpret, present, and perform traditional classical, folkloric, and sacred dances of the Silk Road. Based on Farima Berenji’s training and experience with the Farima Dance Company, she began a worldwide collaboration with other traditional dancers and musicians in the Simorgh Dance Collective, a world community of expert and emerging artists devoted to cross-cultural dialogue and artistic collaboration in traditional, classical, and sacred dance styles of the Silk Road.
The Simorgh Dance Collective currently has member companies and artist affiliations in Anchorage, Alaska, in Comox Valley, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, and Calgary, Canada and in Turkey, UK, Iran, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Simorgh Dance Collective is honored to be the first Persian dance company directed by an Iranian woman to perform during a U.S. presidential reception.
And the birds asked the Wizard: “We desire to know the great Simorgh, the one bird who is believed to be the most beautiful bird on this Universe.”
And the Wizard answered: “Across the sea, out on the horizon, there you will find this legend. But only those united are able to see such a bird.”
And so under the guidance of a leader bird, the birds start their journey toward the mysterious land, crossing the Seven Valleys in order to find the Simorgh. Yet, one by one, they drop out of ego, out of pride, each offering an excuse unable to endure the journey. In the end, a group of thirty birds finally flew over the sea, and there, out on the horizon, they found what they have been searching for…their own reflection on the sea. And so the birds united found the dwelling of the Simorgh.
—Conference of the Birds by Farid al-Din Attar (c 1145-1220). Mystical Persian poet
As in the united power of the Simorgh, the mission of the Simorgh Dance Collective is to create a supportive and creative community to present the rich, ancient culture and heritage of Iran and the Silk Road. Dance is a dialogue among nations and we seek to bridge across the globe artists who love and share a like passion to present Persian Dance as well as those who hope to have a dialogue through dance. The Simorgh Dance Collective seeks to advance the choreographic works, research projects, global exchanges, and the visions of these artists.
Under the direction of Farima Berenji, dancers from all around the world can collaborate in all of Farima’s projects such as The Lioness, Awakening, and Poetry in Motion projects and performances. Dancers also have the opportunity to teach Farima’s works and to join any of the performances or to audition for the specialty projects. Dancers in the Collective learn Farima’s unique teaching method and techniques, receive class notes, music, costume notes, the rights to all choreographies, history lessons, are able to join a supported dance education community via email and Facebook, receive discounts on speciality workshops or retreats, and much more.
How to Join
To be eligible to join the collective, dancers must meet specified criteria, sign an agreement, and demonstrate a certain level of dedication, teamwork, and willingness to share their talents and work for a common good.
The name Farima is an ancient Zoroastrian name meaning “Fairy (Beautiful) Face” which was often used to name the ancient Warrioresses and Princesses of Persia. Read more…