Into the Vast
Banafsheh has the ability to combine different traditional roots to create one expression of dance and movement. Her uniquely fluid and supple hands and arm movements fit perfectly to the crystal clear and transparent sounds of the music.
From the very beginning of Banafsheh’s performance, I realized that we are faced with something entirely different and distinctive from what has commonly been called Persian Dance.
Banafsheh’s dance is not only a highly artistic and virtuosic work both in terms of choreography and execution, but also for the first time I was witnessing a dance that one could call contemporary or modern Persian Dance – a dance with its own artistic language, neither Eastern in the style of Arabic, Indian and Chinese, nor Western as in Flamenco, Modern European or American. A dance close to the essence of Persian culture with harmonious movement, insightful, connected to the music and above all, beautiful.
The dance form created by Banafsheh can only be called Banafsheh Dance. Much like how flamenco is particular to Spain, etc, Banafsheh Dance can be representative of Persian culture. Banafsheh Dance has another beauty, which comes from being borne in a period where dance is forbidden in our country.
In essence, Banafsheh Dance is a heartfelt expression of our cultural and artistic needs that have been long oppressed. Luckily, unlike most of our modern music, both inside or outside of Iran, Banafsheh Dance is not backwards and regressive artistically. It is actually advancing on the path of becoming international.
Dance of Oneness® is the dance I had been waiting to do all my life. From a young age I had danced, read watched and followed Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Joffery Ballet, Margie Gillis, Gabriel Roth and many more than I can name that moved in a way that spoke to me. Dance of Oneness® is the culmination of all that I had been drawn to in the other dance forms which seemed to be missing the main ingredient. Banafsheh has found the missing thread which is the opening to the Beloved, to truly give yourself in movement to the Divine energy that resides and moves through all of us from the Earth and the Heavens. I felt that for the first time in our dancing. It also reintroduced me to my own body, allowed me to accept my imperfections and for the first time in years swim naked in the ocean. All of this and more.
Transformative! Banafsheh skillfully takes us step by step to an experience of dance that brings me deeper into my body, to peace, feeling grounded and open to beauty and to love. Most importantly for me, the process brought me to experience a lovingness toward myself. I appreciate her presence of gentleness and fierce passion, and I’m inspired to bring my best self into my world.