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Encyclopaedia Iranica Benefit Gala at Lincoln Center

The Encyclopaedia Iranica is a multi-disciplinary reference work and research tool designed to record the facts of Iranian history and civilization. It focuses on the land, life, culture and history of all Iranian peoples and their interaction with other societies.

From the biographies of notable men and women in every field of endeavor to descriptions of all Iranian cities and monuments (ancient and modern), from oil installations to major banks, from Zoroastrian scriptures to Jewish shrines and Islamic rituals, from Persian classics to modern novels, from Iranian flora and fauna to Persian music and folklore, from philosophy and mysticism to calligraphy and architecture, all aspect of life in Iranian and related cultural areas are studied and described in articles presenting the current state of research in their texts and appended bibliographies.

To inform a worldwide readership of scholars and general readers and to stimulate further research in different disciplines have been the twin primary and continuing concerns of the project from the outset.

"Danses Mythologique" with Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam

New York, June 28, 2009 - 7:00 p.m. - Alice Tully Hall

Join us for a magical evening featuring a series of dramatic dances choreographed by Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam, member of La Comédie Française. The dances, inspired by masterpieces of Persian poetry, will be the centerpiece of a tribute to the Encyclopaedia Iranica.

Part 1. "Khosrow and Shirin" in three acts:

Act 1. Khosrow's frivolous young years
Act 2. Shirin dreamily awaiting Khosrow
Act 3. The lovers meet: pride and passion

"Khosrow and Shirin" is based on a historical story of love and enchantment portraying Shirin, a princess of Armenia, and Khosrow, the Persian Emperor, as lovers. Composed by Nezami, an acclaimed Persian poet of the 12th century, the sensuous, dramatic, and refined love epic not only displays Nezami's daring stylistic innovations, but also his genius for a delineation of the intense inner life of a broad range of characters, in particular women, who are depicted as strong-willed and sophisticated figures, while at the same time capable of much tenderness and even self-sacrifice for their high ideals. The Metropolitan Museum of Arts houses a series of splendid miniatures illustrating the romantic epic. To learn more, you may consult Encyclopaedia Iranica's article on Khosrow and Shirin.

Part 2. "Bahram-e Gur and Dorsati" in three acts:

Act 1. Bahram hunting a female onager, followed by his bloody combat with the dragon
Act 2. Dorsati telling her story through dance
Act 3. The marriage of Dorsati and Bahram

"Bahram-e Gur and Dorsati" is inspired by the story of the "White Pavilion," from Seven Pavilions, another magnificent romantic epic by Nezami. While wandering through the palace, the Sasanian king Bahram-e Gur discovers a locked room containing the portraits of seven princesses, one from each of the seven climes, with whom he immediately falls in love, and wins them as his brides. To house his new wives, he orders the construction of seven domed pavillions each ruled by one of the seven planets and adorned with the color associated with the clime and planet of its occupant. Each day of the week, the king visits a different princess in her splendid pavilion and she regales him with a story matching the mood of her respective color. On Friday, the seventh day of the week in the Persian calendar, the king visits the White Pavilion, associated with the planet Venus, where Dorsati, the Princess of Persia, mesmerizes him by her sensual stories. To learn more, you may consult Encyclopaedia Iranica's articles on Haft Peykar and Bahram.

Part 3. "Sohrab and Gordafarid" in one act:

"Sohrab and Gordafarid" is inspired by the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), a masterly rendition of Iran's national history in verse by Ferdowsi. Gordafarid is a legendary valiant young girl who, in the guise of a man, defeats several warriors. She is, however, defeated by Sohrab. Upon removing her helmet, he realizes that his adversary belongs to the opposite sex and falls in love with her. Gordafarid takes Sohrab up to the gate of the fortress, which she enters, and the gate closes behind her. The most haunting part of this episode is her conversation with Sohrab, who unbeknown by his father, Rostam, Persia's legendary national hero, is killed by him.


Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam is an internationally acclaimed Persian artist, who specializes in Middle Eastern and mystical dances and has a deep interest in Indian, Indonesian, and Flamenco dances. Shahrokh joined the renowned Theatre du Soleil in 1991, where he played lead roles in several of Ariane Mnouchkine's productions. He has also played in two of Shakespeare plays "Twelfth Night", directed by Christophe Rauch, and Romeo and Juliet" directed by Lionel Briand.

Karine Gonzalez is an eminent artist whose dances integrate many styles, including Persian mystic dancing. Karine's performances as Shirin and Gordafarid enhance the dramatic effect of the program.

Sanaz Partovi is the noted young Persian choreographer and solo performer, who revives the poetic essence of the legends through her fascinating and inimitable narration.


The formidable dances will be the centerpiece of an evening of tribute to the Encyclopaedia Iranica, a project of Columbia University's Center for Iranian Studies, which presents the Persian aspect of almost every field of human endeavor and its significance in the broader history of human civilization.

The program is co-sponsored by the Fertility Research Foundation, founded by Masood Khatamee, MD, FACOG, who is a clinical professor at New York University (NYU) Schoo
l of Medicine. The Foundation is engaged in public education and policy development as a pioneering medical center in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infertility as well as fertility preservation and restoration.

Follow these links to view program details and purchase tickets.

... Payvand News - 05/26/09 ... --

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