"Riveting . out of drums - played with every part of the hand - came drama . with the full Zarbang Ensemble on stage, all hell broke loose!" - The Independent, UK
"Part whirling dervish, part flamenco femme fatale, sensuous and audacious, Sayyad'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
"Breathtaking" - SF Bay Guardian
"Mesmerizing" - Los Angeles Times
Tour Dates: April 11th - April 28th, 2003
Sacramento Engagement: Friday, April 11, 2003 at 8:00 PM San Juan High School 7551 Greenback Lane, Citrus Heights, CA 95610 Tickets: $25, $15 Students with valid ID Reservations: (916) 995-6276
Tickets on sale at most Iranian Markets
Los Angeles Engagement: Saturday, April 12, 2003 at 8:30 PM Japan America Theater 244 South San Pedro Ave., in Los Angeles, between 2nd and 3rd St Tickets: $25, $35, $45 Reservations: (818) 888-8225
Tickets on sale at Music Box and Ketab Corporation in Westwood, Q Market in the Valley and Super Irvine in Irvine
Chicago Engagement: Friday, April 18, 2003 at 8:30 PM University Of Chicago, Mandel Hall 1131 East 57th St., Chicago, IL 60637 Tickets: $35, $30, $25, $20 College Students with valid ID Reservations: (847) 304-1779
Washington DC Engagement: Saturday, April 19, 2003 at 8:00 PM Falls Church High School 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church, VA 22043 Tickets: $25, $20 Reservations: (301) 907-6991
En/trance features the dance of Namah Ensemble and the music of Zarbang Percussion Ensemble who will be making their US debut after years of performing in Europe and Asia. Comprised of the leading young Persian musicians living in the West, Zarbang features the highly acclaimed Persian percussionists, Pejman Hadadi and Mehrdad Arabi who reside in California and Behnam Samani, a resident of Germany. Among a host of ancient and contemporary eastern drums, the three will play the traditional Daf, the central instrument of the program, which is a large frame drum used in Sufi gatherings referred to as Spirit Catcher, a vital component in inducing ecstatic and trance-like states.. They are joined by the well-known Santur (hammered Dulcimer) player, Javid Afsari Rad who resides in Norway. These four musicians will perform their original compositions with dancer/choreographer, Banafsheh Sayyad and the dancers of Namah Ensemble. The combination, En/Trance will be a fusion of the ancient with the contemporary.
Elements of mystical Persian dance and music are fused with modern and improvisational elements to present an original work which communicates ancient sacred notions in a contemporary language decipherable by wide-ranging audiences of today. This contemporary work marks one of the few occasions in the tradition where women perform the sacred dance or Sema of Sufis from Iran publicly. The music and movements of the Iranian Sufis, especially those practicing in Kurdistan are different from the well-known "Whirling Dervishes" who are based in Turkey. Well-versed in these practices, most of Banafsheh Sayyad's choreography in En/Trance originates from personal trance states that are then given structure and order. En/Trance features new dance and live music pieces; purely instrumental pieces as well as dances from Namah Ensemble's repertoire.
The spark for the 2003 US tour of Namah and ZarbaangNamah Ensemble was invited to present the performance component of the traveling Iranian art exhibit, A Breeze from the Gardens of Persia at a number of Universities and museums in Florida including The Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach and the Ormond Beach Museum of Art. Workshops and lecture demonstrations are scheduled to accompany performances.
... Payvand News - 3/13/03 ... --