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Dance Artivism WomanLifeFreedom part2

I was elated when I received an invitation from my long time friend and dance associate @Tara Chantelle Gomez to come to Boom Festival 2023 and to join her dance space Nataraj stage. Upon her invitation, she offered me an evening to make a Persian dance show for us.

Without any thought given, I immediately knew that I cannot offer Iranian Dance without echoing the voices of the Woman Life Freedom revolution. If I represent my people, I do it best with Dance artivism. As if inspiration just flowed through me, I suddenly shared with Tara Chantelle that the show will be the plight of the Nightingale who falls in Love with the Rose and sacrifices its very life for Union with Truth. Not knowing, together, they become the Phoenix in Triumph! (Please, read more about this beautiful symbology in yesterday’s post) I immediately envisioned the whole story translated into Dance and choreography, I knew which songs for the soundtrack, I knew which outfits and props. I felt overwhelmed but I knew I could do this and I got to work. The Creation of this turned out to be a transformational discipline in body, mind and spirit… an anchor with all my core values coming together, asserting what I choose for this Life : Love, Truth, Beauty, Grace and Order. They stand for sooooo much… for everything in all encompassing ways.

My number one objective is to offer this transformational piece to give hope and to never give up for what we know is worth standing for! This is an homage to all my heroines and heroes of my Motherland Iran…. All my family, friends and community. This is for you… for all of us! This is for our friends and allies… and those who are in the unknown!

Though I had previously created much art, this is the first time that I am Creative Visionary, Director, Conceptualist and Main Choreographer for a show! And I feel very proud of this achievement. I compiled poetry. Everything came from my very body and my entire history thus far.

It is called ‘ Baraye Ashka-ye-Eshgh’ - ‘For the Tears of Love’ … self explanatory with the title, this is for Iran, yet truly what it actually stands for (previous post). In Love, we cry for joy and for pain and all that lies in between. This is Life and this is what makes us human.

I knew that this artivism is only complete when we conclude it with a dance to ‘Baraye’ by @shervinhajipour , the anthem of our revolution. And @dannyasadi version of the song.

My heart told me to embody the Nightingale because I am a human who for the life of her cannot compromise truth and integrity knwoingly. I knew Tara Chantelle to be cast as the Rose, because… well, self explanatory She invited Rita to join us dancing, who brings the softness and kindness of that which we are preserving in this crazy world. And she is my personal angel.

I only thought about what can serve best to the outcome and impact of this artivism piece.

You both brought so much to this Creation. Tara Chantelle, obviously, you are my co-creator in this. Your invitation created the space for this. Your ideas, work and dances are top notch!

Tara Chantelle Gomez , I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your invitation and trust in me as an artist. You are a wonderful producer who can move mountains. The service you do with #natarajdancestage at Boom is a true achievement and an important space for everyone who is lucky to be there. I have always viewed you as a high caliber dancer, artist and strong choreographer. Thank you for all your hard work with production. I knew I could trust you with the Rose and your part of choreography for Baraye. I just felt it in my heart to entrust you with these roles and you truly did a fantastic job with the dances. Thank you for graciously trusting and following my creative direction. And thank you for your hospitality and that of your beautiful mother and sister. You are all precious to me and I love you. Keep moving mountains and create good things…

Rita Fontes thank you from the bottom of my heart for the immense support you offered and your inspirational input and your dances. You became one of the highlights of my time in Portugal , my surprise friend who gifted me more than I can share here. You are simply beautiful. You sparked us with that special moment in the ‘Baraye’ Dance where we freed up our hair, that moment that everyone was overcome with purpose!!! Your family is now also my family.

I will release more videos in the days to come.

Remember, this is all for #zanzendegiazadi #womanlifefreedom

Video by Vanessa Lam




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