Aroos Shushtari (The bride of Shushtar) is a traditional Iranian dance piece presented by Miniature Dance Collective. Choreography and Director- Banafsheh Amiri, Music- Maliheh Saeedi, Narrator- Mabobeh Golzari, Narrative- Sara Kazemi Sabzevar, Costume Design- Banafsheh Amiri, Video- Nina Zarabi & Ali Oladi; recorded in Iran (2018). The choreography style is inspired by Iranian traditional and folkloric dances. This aforementioned traditional dance refers to the embodiment of improve dances that might have performed in the late Qajar and early Pahlavi dynasty. The piece includes three separate episodes altered by Iranian old songs to demonstrate the choreographer’s perception of ancient Iranian stories and old-songs.
The dance piece displays my personal perception of Iranian women’s romantic life. It invites the audience on a journey to the heart of ancient women’s customs in Iran. It also recalls their motherhood beauty, delicacy and strength. My intention of presenting this performance is to call the cultural memento and femininity of Iranian women of seventy years ago which brings attention to ancient values of Iranian art and culture through the universal language of dance.
Improvised Iranian dance, by Banafsheh Amiri captured at Miniature Dance Academy in March 2018. The dance performed on the Iranian traditional song Sorood-E-Gol, composed by Hossein Alizadeh. Lyrics written by Freydoon Moshiri, well-known Iranian poet; it narrates the sense of upcoming spring while depicting the political difficulties prevailing in Iran society. Inak Bhahr (Here it comes spring!) is a dance piece that narrates the story of spring as a symbol of new life, hope, and passion after the hands of the cold and bitter world of winter. The dance is tailoring classical, contemporary, whirling, and personal interpretation of Persian dance.
It was Esfand, 2018. The last month of winter occurred before Norouz (Persian New Year). Hearing this beautiful song for the very first time, I persuaded to listen to it over and over. I could imagine the scent of greenery, the beauty of sky, the colourful scenery, and the zest for life that lives inside. I could feel the desire of reviving hope against despair with a dance that promises the end of hassles, the arrival of spring, and the hope of following our dreams.
Improvised Iranian dance, by Banafsheh Amiri in 2017. Danced to the Dashti song ‘Bebar-Ey-Baroon’ (Pour, O Rain); Kayhan Kalhor (Composer). Mohadamdreza Shajariyan (Vocalist). Ali Moalem-Damghani (Poet). Baroonis an improvisational dance peace which draws on the rituals and expressive movements. It is interpreted through Iranian contemporary and traditional dance technique. The motion illustrates the expression of the mourning, suffering, and frustration of Iran. The wail comes from a woman who is mourning for the loss of children who died due to facing disasters, or fighting against cultural, political and economical crises.
Avāz-e Dashti is naturally mournful and gloomy. On the one hand, it is traditionally used for Ta’ziyeh (a genre in Iranian Theater in which the religious music of mourning is an essential element), on the other hand, it evokes the feeling of lullabies and local songs. During Bam earthquake occurred in 2003, I used to listen to this wonderful Tasnif by Mohammad Reza Shajarian, an Iranian great Master of traditional music. Weeping unintentionally and repeating the song:’’ Pour, O rain, pour, [Rain] on the burning scars of the unburied fallen lovers, O rain’’, I could picture the image of my fellows. Immediately whisper the song of Baroon and start dancing by visualizing the moments that unfortunately are repeated in my mind every so often; dancing and illustrating this common pain has been my artistic tool, my voice to express my sympathy with the intention of bringing global attention and support towards my homeland.