JOSHGOON DANCE ACADEMY
Joshgoon Dance Academy was established in 1994 by Sashar Zarif after his graduation and performance experience in National and Classical Dances of Azerbaijan and Central Asia in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Academy offers residencies, lecture-demonstrations, and classes in Near Eastern and Central Asian dance character, technique and choreography, including dances from Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan Kazakhstan and Western Mongolia.
FOLK DANCE STREAM - Azerbaijani Dance
Azerbaijani Dance is a graceful art form and powerful tool for working with the physical body as well as a spiritual discipline. the class aims at developing a basic dance vocabulary stemming from Azerbaijani training driven from both classical and folkloric art forms. Through repetition, we search for in -depth understanding of movement as the emphasis will be put on musicality and phrasing to enhance the spirit of dancing together. Utilizing movement patterns and exercises this class involves dancers’ relationship with the floor (earth/ground), the release of energy through the body, the centralization of movement, strength and speed.
In Azeri dance, expression is one of the main aspects of the dance. It is also based on three main aspects of the dance. It is also based on three main facts: the mood of the person, the setting which the dance is taking place, and animal animation. The Azerbaijani dance depicts ‘Life’. It is, therefore, based on natural movements and is not confined to symbolic gestures. It is subtle and true to life covering a very large canvas. The former, the so-called technical part, is an abstract dance with a tremendous sense of rhythm and joy of movement.
HISTORICAL SOURCES. Azerbaijani roots can be traced far back into antiquity. Archaeological excavations have yielded rock paintings of silhouetted ritual dancers with musical instruments dating from the 5th to 3rd millennia BC a Stone Age percussion instrument called Gaval-das (‘frame drum of stone’) from Kobustan and prototype of a wind instrument made of bone from Mingaechaur.
ACADEMIC STREAM - Dance of Mugham
“Mugham” is the Sufi-shamanic art of spirit that exists in and out of the physical realm. Centuries ago, Mugham was the integrated performance practice of Poetry, Music, and Dance together. The music was composed based on poetry meter, content and seven particular, unique, psychological moods. But through the years, the connection between poetry and musical elements disappeared and the two elements developed detached from each other. As well, the dance element has deteriorated to the point where only traces of it exist across Central and Western Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Mugham inhabits deep inside the earth and far into the endless universe. The Mughamist expresses and embodies life by walking on the vulnerable edge of emotions.
“Dance of Mugham” is the product of over twelve years of research and reconstruction completed by researcher, educator and artist: Sashar Zarif. The goal of Sashar Zarif’s research was and is to reinstate the nearly lost element of dance back into the ancient form of Mugham. Through gaining an understanding of the relationships between the poetry, music and dance and has developed a base syntax, vocabulary and structure out of which to work. As the dance form continually evolves, it works towards the goal of breaking down barriers through greater cross-cultural understanding.
Public workshops and school programs available.
Private academy training by registration/audition only.