WorldDance celebrates Iranian art

By By Sofia Strempek

By Sofia Strempek

As we plunge into the season of traditions8212;jack-o’-lanterns giving way to turkey and stuffing, and supermarkets playing Christmas carols on repeat8212;the Eastern Arts student club is hosting “WorldDance 2009” to celebrate the ancient cultural traditions of Iran.

Eastern Arts International Dance Theatre will join with AVA Persian Music Ensemble and BYU folk dancers to re-create ancient culture through art. Guest artist Robert deWarren, founder and former director of Mahalli Dancers of Iran, will be honored for his works that celebrate Iran’s movement culture. The dancers will perform various styles of Iranian dance forms, from energetic folk dance to majestic court dances. Accompanied by traditional Iranian instruments, the performance will be a genuine presentation of the Eastern culture.

“WorldDance 2009” is especially relevant in our current historical context, as political issues often hide the ancient aspects of the Iranian culture.

Katherine St. John, director of Eastern Arts, said she hopes the concert can “present to the general public the positive side of the culture.” The presence of deWarren will surely aid in this venture. As director of the National Ballet of Iran in the 1960s and early 1970s, deWarren’s company performed for the shah of Iran during the revolution. His contentious relationship with the shah brought rebuke by some, but the artistic studies engendered by the experience resulted in refinement of cultural dance as a performing art.

DeWarren has choreographed new dances for Eastern Arts and BYU dancers to commemorate and rejuvenate the cultural explorations, introducing the audience to new cultures through a visually, orally and kinetically innervating performance.

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