Banafsheh performs in a wide variety of venues ranging from proscenium theaters to alternative spaces such as churches, temples, outdoor stages and private events. She performs solo work with the option of 1 to 5 musicians and an orator. The following are current programs:


Beloved is an evening-length multi-disciplinary dance, music and spoken word project created in collaboration by Banafsheh, actor and director Shila Ommi who recites the poetry of Rumi, multi-instrumentalist and composer Tony Khalife who performs his original compositions, Pejman Hadadi, the foremost Iranian percussionist, and Ruth Cunningham, former vocalist with Anonymous 4.

Into the Vast

Banafsheh and the music group ZARBANG’s exuberant evening-length work exploring the theme of surrendering oneself to the inner being seated in the temple of the Heart. Contemporary Persian dance and music merge with Flamenco and Dervish dance in this concert of passionate improvisation. The recitation of Rumi poems in English interspersed with the original Persian nuance the evening. This program is with 4 musicians, with or without an orator.


In this full-evening program, Banafsheh, one of the leading interpreters of Rumi in dance, explores the theme of trance as entering into union with the Beloved. Based on the ceremony of the Sufi Whirling Darvishes, she interprets the 4 stages of the ceremony through dance and spoken word. This program of spiritual transformation can be presented with recorded music or with 2 – 4 musicians.

ESHQ – Love’s Wild Fire

Banafsheh offers a dance and live poetry evening based in Rumi’s poems and Sufi mysticism with scholar and mystic Andrew Harvey. This full-evening program can be presented with recorded music or with 2 to 4 musicians. The essence of the Sufi path of love and of Rumi’s vision is ”Eshq,” the Persian word for ”love”— the wild passion of love that burns in every cell for the Beloved. Banafsheh and Andrew take the audience on a holy and explosive journey into Eshq through a marriage of Banafsheh’s ecstatic dance with Rumi’s most poignant poems and Andrew’s inspired teachings.