Anahid Sofian Dance Company Celebrates 35th Anniversary with Middle Eastern-Themed Gala, 6/28-6/29
Over 25 fabulous dancers and musicians will join Anahid Sofian Dance Company in a rousing retrospective of signature works from the Near and Middle East in celebration of the Company's 35th Anniversary. The program will present both traditional dances and those inspired by cultures of Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Persia, Armenia, Greece and Uzbekistan, as well as numerous renditions of Danse Orientale. The program is a dazzling blend of different styles, both old and new, traditional and theatrical. Two performances, June 28 & 29 at MMAC, 246 West 60th Street, NYC.
Special guests include:
Nourhan Sharif, internationally recognized as a premier performer of the Egyptian Raqs Sharki, known in the West as belly-dancing. The artist and her company will present both historical and contemporary renditions of the form.
The Sera Solstice Ensemble, an innovative Tribal Fusion bellydance troupe based on the East Coast, combining influences from modern dance, hip-hop, and martial arts.
Carlos Fittante and Robin Gilbert of the BALAM Dance Theatre will recreate a Sofian dance called "Ma'Na," created to "A Prayer for the Soul of Layla" by Jamshied Sharifi, with vocals by Mamak Khadem.
Live music will be provided by the Souren Baronian Musical Ensemble, on clarinet, kaval, oud, kanoon, violin, and percussion instruments.
The Company will showcase 14 numbers, including a powerful tribal dance from Morocco, a women's dance from Armenia that reflects grace and lyrical bautiful, a contemporary dance inspired by an old Greek song sung by irini Pappas, and a dreamlike interpretation of "Gazli," written and sung by the young Uzbeki star Sevara Nazarkhan.
Anahid Sofian will perform "Garden of the Beloved," music from the album Mehraab by Loga Ramin Torkian;, vocals by Khosro Ansari, and slide show by Stacey Lespinasse. The solo is inspired by the writing that states: "Love is like the smell of a flower, something that you cannot touch...and like the bird in love with the flower, flying and always seeking its fragrance in the garden; we search for this eternal love in this terrestrial world or in the work of heaven." The work was premiered at the New York Theatrical Belly Dance Conference in 2013.
The Anahid Sofian Dance Company, founded 35 years ago and headquartered in New York City, has appeared in many venues in town and around the country, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Lincoln Center Library, and many more.