SASHAR ZARIF DANCE THEATRE - THE COMPANY
SZDT is committed to the integrity of fine arts by bringing attention and awareness to life through research, education, and creative exploration.
SZDT works in multi-dimensions of time and space through dance, and is committed to connecting the past to the future through a contemporary examination of the notion of place/home.
SZDT specializes in the investigation of identity (the way human relates to the environment around them) focusing on Central and Western Asian Cultures, performing arts of Sufi and/or Shamanic cultures, cross-cultural collaborations, and identity.
Sashar Zarif is a multi-disciplinary performing artist, educator, and researcher whose artistic practice invites a convergence of creative and cultural perspectives. His interests are identity, globalization, and cross-cultural collaborations. His practice is steeped in the artistry and history of traditional, ritualistic, and contemporary dance and music of the Near Eastern and Central Asian regions. He has toured across Americas, Europe, North Africa, Central and Western Asia, and Middle East, promoting cultural dialogue through intensive fieldworks, residencies, performances, and creative collaborations. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for his collaborations with outstanding Canadian artists along with international icons such as Alim Quasimov (a collaborator on Yo-Yo MA’s Silk Road Project), and universities and arts institutions across continents. Zarif is a research associate at York Centre for Asian Studies and on the board of directors of Dance Ontario and World Dance Alliance – Americas. He was also nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding performance in 2008. In 2011, he received the honorary titles of Master of Dance from Uzbekistan State Institute of Choreography in Tashkent as well as Honorary Faculty Member at this institute for his work and contribution to dance in Uzbekistan in the second half of 2011. In 2012, Sashar Zarif was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.