Journey Through The Silk Road
Dance workshops and Sema with Farima Berenji 
at the Abbey Studio in Cumberland B.C.
Sept. 13-15, 2013

     Embark on a journey throughout the Silk Road and experience one of the world’s most enchanting dance forms! Classical and Sacred Dances of Persia and Central Asia are inspired by Persian mythology, poetry and miniature artwork. Many great Persian poets extolled dance in their poems and used it as a symbol of the power of life; Hafiz, Saadi, Omar Khayam, and Mevlana (Rumi) each represented dance as a spiritual instrument to become one with the spiritual being. We will explore the land, people, geography, language, culture, and arts of ancient and modern Persia and the Silk Road. Hear fascinating stories of pre-Islamic ancient Persian mythology, and forgotten Empires - the Achaemenid and Sassanian Empires, the Arab and the Turkish Dynasties, the Mongols, Safavids, Qajars, and the ancient Royal Road trade centers. We will learn about the great Persian poets Hafez, Saadi, Ferdowsi, Omar Khayyam, Rumi, and Sufi ritual dances. Explore the major provinces and diverse cultures of Persia through dances, music, artwork, and costuming. We will also learn various Folk dances from Persia as well as dances from Central Asia, such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and more and learn about the “The Silk Road” and the cultural cross-currents influencing dance and all of the expressive arts. Discover the relationships of dance movements across the tapestry of history, from the Eastern Mediterranean to Western China, as waves of empire and nomadic migration sweep across Eurasia. 

Sema Gathering and Poetry in Motion 

Learn personal and spiritual Sema (Sufi Whirling) as well as other turning practices, while listening to sacred poetry and music. In the first part of the gathering we will learn and discuss sacred and Sufi poetry and teachings of Rumi and Shams, as well as Hafez, Saadi, Omar Khayyam, and other Sufi masters and learn to incorporate movements to their poems (Poetry in Motion). We will them progress into dance and music therapy, followed by whirling sessions, ending with Zikr. Feel free to bring a poem to share or play us your favorite musical instrument. Feel free to bring snacks or drinks to share. Please wear white or light colored clothing and wear socks or soft soled shoes. The evening will also feature sacred dance performances by Cathy Stoyko and Arcana Dea Dance and live music by Jesse Gentes and Destanne Lundquist. 

All welcome, sliding scale $12-$20 at the door

Friday Sept. 13th:  Sema Gathering and Poetry in Motion with Farima Berenji- plus performances by local dancers and musicians 6:30PM- 9PM  

Saturday Sept. 14th: Persian Sacred and Classical Dances and Dance Education 10-12:30 1 hour lunch break 1:30-4PM (5 hours/day)

Sunday Sept. 15th: Persian and Central Asian Folk Dances and Dance Education 10-12:30 1 hour lunch break 1:30-4PM ( 5 hours/day)

Price for Friday, Saturday & Sunday  $150 , Friday night only $10-20 at the door

To get the most from this magical dance journey I recommend doing the whole weekend intensive if possible! For the Sat. & Sunday workshops the space is limited to max 16 participants, register early to reserve your space in the workshops. Registration for one day only (Sat. or Sunday) is $70 and will be considered if space allows. 
Sliding scale and/or alt. payment plan may be available if needed.
 If this speaks to your heart and $ is the only issue holding you back contact me~
Cathy at (250) 218-0704 or

For those of you coming from out of town here are a couple options 
both are 1 block from the Abbey Studio~

Mail early bird registration to:
Cathy StoykoBox 1196, Cumberland B.C.  V0R 1S0


drop off cheque or cash in person at Village Muse Books
2720 Dunmuire Ave, Cumberland 10:30-5PM Tues. - Sat.

OR use paypal