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We Stand With the Freedom Fighters in Iran and Dance for a Triumphant Revolution!

Dance Theater

Banafsheh’s presentations are not performances but transmissions

Banafsheh and Namah Ensemble perform a repertoire of full-length programs that can be presented in traditional proscenium theaters as well as  alternative spaces such as churches, temples, outdoor stages, and private events. Banafsheh is also available for bookings as a solo artist or with   up to 5  musicians and 2 actors. The following are current programs:


A full-length performance of multi-disciplinary dance, music and theater. Created in collaboration with actor/director Shila Ommi, multi-instrumentalist and composer Tony Khalife, the prominent Iranian percussionist Pejman Hadadi, and vocalist Ruth Cunningham, formerly of Anonymous 4.

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Into the Vast

An exuberant full-length dance theater work with live music featuring a fusion of contemporary Persian dance and music with Flamenco and Sufi whirling. Into the Vast explores the theme of surrendering oneself to the inner being seated in the temple of the Heart. The poetry of Rumi is recited in both English and the original Persian through the performance. This program is presented with 1 dancer, 4 musicians, and 2 actors.

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Based on the ceremony of the Sufi Whirling Darvishes, Banafsheh interprets the 4 stages of the journey through dance and theater. It explores the domain of trance as one enters into union with the Beloved. A full- length work, this program of spiritual transformation features 1 dancer and 2 actors. It can be presented with recorded music or with 2 – 4 musicians

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ESHQ – Love’s Wildfire

An evening of dance and live poetry based in Rumi’s poems and Sufi mysticism with renowned scholar and mystic, Andrew Harvey. Banafsheh and Andrew take the audience on a holy and explosive journey into Rumi’s vision of “Eshq” (Persian for love). A marriage of ecstatic dance, poetry and Andrew’s inspired teachings introduces the essence of the Sufi path. This program can be presented with recorded music or 2 to 4 live musicians.
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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.

Badische Zeitung

Banafsheh conveys the essence of whirling so beautifully it is breathtaking. But beyond that her dance is a language without words which weaves worlds of meaning. Her body is a beautiful instrument, and in connection with the musicians a beautiful “visual music” flows through, and the patterns of movement set up subtle vibrational harmonies. Due to our “mirror neurons” when we are watching, many people will be experiencing the same internal state and our bodies and minds are being harmonized so that we experience a shared reality beyond words. This is the manifestation of Beauty, a taste of the divine through all the senses. It is both unearthly magic and a full incarnation of what only human beings can do – to speak of the Beloved in entirely new creative ways in each moment. For me it was truly a spiritual experience.

Jane Garland

Audience Member, Canada

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.

Shokooh Mirzadegi

Journalist & Critic – From the Archives of A Woman’s View, USA

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.

Janet Sawatsky


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.

Mary Regis