International touring dance artist, scholar and dear friend Farima Berenji returned to Cumberland in the Fall 2018 to teach Sacred and Traditional Dances of Greater Khorasan. Here's a description of the workshops in Farima's words and some of what she shared with us that weekend.
"Greater Khorasan is a historic region which the majority of it lays in modern day Iran, as well as minor parts of Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Historically, Khorasan was named “Parthia” which was changed to Khorasan in the late Sassanid Dynasty. Khorasan is an area of eastern Iran known as the place “Where the Sun Arrives from.” The dances of this region include elements of the famous Soghdian (Whirling Dance), Warrior Dance, Scarf Dance, Khorasan Sema and more. Khorasani dances are lively, festive and full of meaning. Men and women, old and young, all participate and their dances narrate their nomadic life, struggle, unity and their love for life, and remembering their glorious ancestors."
At the workshops on Saturday Oct. 6th she focused folk dances and warrior dances of Khorasan such as Torbat-e-Jam and Bojnourdi. At the workshop on Sunday Oct. 7th we learned Soghdian and Khorasan Sema, both whirling ritual dances.
Farima Berenji performing 'Golden Bride', Friday Oct. 5th, 2018
Simorgh Dance collective performing Farima's 'Fire in the Moonlight', a contemporary sacred drum dance that she taught at the Abbey Studio last Spring 2018.