An Interview with Sacred Dance Guild Honorary Member - Banafsheh Sayyad
Date: August 2, 2020-
Location: On line - from California, USA - 4:30 pm EDT (1:30 pm PST)
We are honored to have Banafsheh Sayyad as our FOURTH Interviewee in a series that will take place between June and August 2020. We are particularly delighted to have this interview as a part of our “Virtually There…. A Sacred Dance Experience” the Sacred Dance Guild’s first online Festival. This Interview series will ask Sacred Dance Guild honorary members FIVE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS! These questions were crafted by the Sacred Dance Guild Legacy Project Team who are working to create a Sacred Dance Guild Facilitator’s Accreditation Program who wanted to ensure that the deep thoughts of our honorary members are captured and included in the material that will be part of the Legacy Project to inform present and future sacred dancers.
What are the FIVE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS?? Register to find out! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “BANAFSHEH SAYYAD INTERVIEW” in the subject line and we will put you on the list (Note – Participants in the online Festival do NOT have to register separately for this interview – they will automatically receive the link) . Banafsheh will be interviewed by SDG Member Susan Beayni (from Toronto, Canada) using ZOOM as the on-line system. Registrants (other than Festival participants) will receive the link the day before the Interview. All will have the opportunity to have questions or comments posed to Banafsheh at the end of the talk.
Banafsheh Sayyad is a master Persian sacred dancer, choreographer, transformational teacher and founder of Dance of Oneness®. She communicates mystical concepts in a passionate yet meditative way, invoking the ancient roots of dance as devotion, celebration and prayer while blazing an unique trail in contemporary dance with a masterly fusion of high level dance technique and spiritual embodiment. She is one of the few bearers of authentic Persian dance in the world, an innovator of Sufi dance previously only performed by men and a pioneer in contemporary Persian dance. Internationally known for her innovative movement vocabulary and high artistic standards, she draws from her extensive background in Sufism, Persian dance, Tai Chi and flamenco to present a new form, rooted in tradition yet universal. Banafsheh comes from a long lineage of pioneering performing artists. Her father is the legendary Iranian filmmaker, writer, theater director and actor Parviz Sayyad. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance from UCLA where she taught Persian dance. Also a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, she is dedicated to uncovering the healing aspects of movement. Banafsheh’s award-winning work has been presented in North America, Europe and Australia where she has gained tremendous audience and critical acclaim. Her dance film with renowned mystic and scholar, Andrew Harvey, “In the Fire of Grace” traces Rumi’s journey of the Soul in dance.
Banafsheh’s teaching is considered “life changing.” She has created a healing, Spirit-based dance modality called Dance of Oneness® which she teaches around the world, guiding people to find themselves and their inner happiness through dance with movements that enable them to transform themselves and live the sacred in everyday life. A certification program, Dance of Oneness® is dance as a spiritual path and science of embodiment—a joyful, loving and contemplative way to embody Spirit and live freely, peacefully, passionately and of service in the world. Operating in 3 dimensions: the art of dance, rigorous technique and self-expression; wisdom teachings; and healing; Dance of Oneness® is based in Sufi ritual and whirling, flamenco, Persian and Modern dance, Tai chi and Chi gong. Sufi teachings and the poetry of Rumi, Divine Feminine wisdom, Science of Mindfulness, the Gurdjieff Work, Chinese Medicine, the Chakra system, Neuroscience and Quantum Physics are the theoretical groundwork.
Based in Topanga, California, Banafsheh performs and teaches across North America, Europe at well known centers such as Esalen Institute in California, Omega Institute, and Menla Center in New York, Kripalu, Rowe Center in Massachusetts, Hollyhock in Canada, Chartres Academy in France, Schweibenalp Center of Unity, and Waldhaus in Switzerland, as well as centers in Turkey among other countries. She teaches people of all levels of dance and movement – from absolute beginners to the very advanced to embody and empower their true Self. She is currently working on her book, “Dance of Oneness.” Visit www.banafsheh.org for Banafsheh’s online offerings.
For a pretalk treat see this clip from a performance at the Lincoln Centre in NYC.
“Part whirling dervish, part flamenco femme fatale, sensuous and audacious, Banafsheh’s dance is a mesmerizing foray into the body as trance mechanism; a DNA strand, supple, fluid and noble, come to life.” Los Angeles Times
“Banafsheh is one of the greatest sacred dancers I have seen.” Deepak Chopra