MEETING WITH SAGHI (2007)
Rose petals let us scatter, And fill the cup with red wine
The firmaments let us shatter, And come with a new design
If sorrow's soldiers incite, To shed lovers' blood tonight
With Saghi I will unite, And his foundations malign
Meeting with Saghi re-imagines and reconstructs aspects of lost classical Persian dance tradition by investigating an important part of that tradition, the mystical figure of Saghi, the wine-bearer, as she appears in classical Persian literature, music, art and calligraphy. Meeting with Saghi is a blend of ritualistic and traditional dance forms inspired by the mysterious Caucasus Mountains, the tall standing cypress trees of Shiraz, and the desert nomads of Central Asia. The choreography is distinctly stylized; melding eastern Sufi poetry, music and calligraphy.
Choreography: Sashar Zarif
Composer: Pirouz Yousefian
Original Outside Eye: Katherine Duncanson
Sound Designer: Laurel Macdonald
Lighting Designer: Arun Srinivasan
Costume Design: Sashar Zarif and Minou Chamani
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ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: February 14, 2007 Media Contact: Jennifer Watkins firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting with Saghi
Sashar Zarif Dance Company brings ancient Sufi mysticism to the contemporary stage in mesmerizing new choreography
for two nights only
A DanceWorks/CoWorks Series Event • March 23 and 24, 2007, Betty Oliphant Theatre.
Born in Iran of Azerbaijani heritage Sashar Zarif came to Canada in 1987. Following studies in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Zarif achieved a Diploma of Performing Arts at the Conservatory of Dance and Music in Baku, Azerbaijan becoming an Artist for the People. Founder of Joshgoon Canadian Academy of Azerbaijani Dance and Sashar Zarif Dance Theatre (1993) and Dancers for Peace (2001), Zarif is well known as an engaging teacher and a powerful dancer who has performed and taught throughout Europe, Central Asia and Mongolia. Zarif is also acquiring an international reputation as an enigmatic and gifted choreographer as acknowledged locally with the Paula Citron TDIF Award in 2006 for his masterful solo In the Letters My Name, a collaboration with Holly Small.
His new creation Meeting with Saghi, has grown out of years of ethnographic fieldwork in Central Asia, Iran and Azerbaijan. This work reveals Zarif’s journey to connect his worldly experience to his spiritual existence. In Meeting with Saghi he weaves together contemporized Persian Sufi music, poetry (Rumi, Hafiz, Omar Khayyam), and calligraphy (inspiring movement lines and flow) in this intuitive exploration of the lost mystical dance of Saghi, the adored wine-bearer. Saghi is the provider of inspiration, the bearer of enlightenment who offers the symbolic imbibing of wine, the elixir that brings mystical love and divine intoxication.
The evocative tapestry created by Zarif and his dancers in Meeting with Saghi connects the threads of ancient mysticism to the present day in a multi-layered dance performance, with original sound score, to reveal an expression of earthly love, beauty and the Divine. This bringing forward of the past may be a tonic for our sullen era as we open our eyes and let the experience wash over us. When the uncommon becomes familiar we find we are all connected by what we feel in our hearts.
You will be dazzled, transfixed and transformed by Meeting with Saghi created with composer Pirouz Yousefian working in the Persian music tradition of improvisation and collaborators; dramaturge, Soheil Parsa; lighting designer, Arun Srinivasan and sound designer, Laurel MacDonald.
Following the 60 minute performance join Zarif downstairs at the theatre. to discover more about the lost dance of the Saghi in this gallery of authentic costumes, books and documentation of the places it originated and Zarif’s own travels and research.
Meeting with Saghi
Friday, March 23 & Saturday, March 24 at 8 PM Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis Street Tickets: $25 & $18 Students and CADA members Box Office: DanceWorks - 416 204 1082 Further information: www.sashardance.com
Come oh Saghi, and serve up that wine Unto which my heart and faith belong, Strip me of self, for drunkenness Is the only rite I profess.