February 2024

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! Since ancient times, dance has been an important part of life and living in Iran that cannot be denied. By means of social media, dance in Iran has become a means of inspiration and social statement in recent years. First, starting in March-April 2020 amidst the surge of the Corona virus epidemic, viral videos circulated of doctors and nurses in Iran dancing to boost their morale, to deny defeat, to conquer fear. Now, late last December, a 70-year-old fish market stall owner nicknamed “Booghy” sang and danced in public in Rasht, Iran. A video of this moment of Sadegh Bana Motejaded, 70, gyrating became an upbeat symbol of civil disobedience and a demand for freedom and happiness. A new form of protest began rocking Iran to the embarrassment of their clerics: a viral dance craze set to an upbeat folk song where crowds clap and chant. In the streets, sport stadiums, classrooms, gyms, restaurants, and anywhere people congregate, videos have captured Iranian men and women of all ages moving their hips, swirling their arms in the air, and chanting the song’s catchy lines. This is particularly significant in Iran, where dancing in public, especially by women and between men and women, is banned.

Whenever we look deep inside our dance we come to realize as human beings how we are all connected. Dance creates peace, love, harmony, and understanding among all people. Dance is our universal language. Dance can be our cure. Dance can call forth the winds of change.

A tremendous thank you to the Sacramento Zoroastrian Center and Director Sadegh Hatefi for inviting me to perform for their Sadeh Festival last month. I wish also to thank all the donors and sponsors who have given generously to the Simorgh Dance Collective recently. This helps us continue our mission bringing the traditional art of Silk Road music and dance alive for the public. This month I am excited to be teaching workshops and performing among friends in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

Wishing to see you soon in dance where ever you are,

There are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore.

-Nicolas Sparks, American novelist and screenwriter (b. 1965)

About farimadance

Farima is an award winning, internationally acclaimed performing artist, instructor, dance ethnologist, and archaeologist.  Recognized as one of few world experts and scholars of Persian dance history, Farima infuses spirituality into her dance and teachings to impassion, empower, and inspire.