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Bringing Persian Dance & History to Pt. Reyes

Shahrzad Khorsandi and her troupe of dancers brought two back-to-back Persian Dance assembly/workshop programs to a full house of West Marin County students at the Dance Palace on November 14th.  Shahrzad and her dancers Kim Ganassin, and Sabine Tucker, began by introducing the audience to some basic movements of Persian Dance.  They then asked a few students to join them on stage.  The eager volunteers were visibly enjoying practicing their dance moves, as they followed the performers around the stage.  Once the students were re-seated, the dancers began their beautiful performance of Shahrzad’s original piece entitled, Rainbow.  The performance focuses on world peace and is comprised of six short dances connected together through audio narration.  After the show, Shahrzad took questions from the audience.

The workshop portion of the morning, took place immediately following the performance.  Shahrzad gathered the students in a large circle and passed out worksheets with a map of Iran, and a brief history of Persian Dance.  She then guided the students through the different provinces of Iran, by showing a dance move specific to that area.  While she danced she told the students more about the history of the region.  Once she had shown them the various dances, she then invited the entire audience up to “dance around the country.” At the conclusion of the event she sat them down for one last lesson in the very complicated, two-handed “Persian Snap.”  Though few were able to master the challenging move, the audience was in awe of her ability, and everyone was ready to practice at home.

A special thank you to the California Arts Council for their generous support of this program!

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