SASHAR ZARIF & GADFLY: Amazing Start & Stunning Finish @ DanceWeekend ’12

“Crossing” is a fusion dance inspired by the shaman traditions in Korean and the Middle East. It portrays two shamans meeting each other in a shared subconscious state.

I like my RiRi but maybe not with my Sufi!

After sleeping on it, I still have yet to decide if the starting line-up juxtaposition of a youth dance company’s booty shaking to a Rihanna music montage prior to Sashar Zarif’s heart-opening performance was a good, bad or benign idea.

The program for Sashar reads:

“Mughamat is the intetegrated art of Poetry, Music and Dance. Mugham is the Sufi-shamanic art of spirit that exists in and out of the physical realm…”

And Sashar’s performances do transport you someplace out-of-the-body as I found while sitting in the same spot at FLECK last June watching Sashar perform in TAJ (part of LUMINATO) as an old Sufi.  If I had the money, the time and if there were tickets available (TAJ was completely sold out!) I would have happily bought up one for each performance just to be moved liked that again.

Dance Weekend ’12 is a marathon session! 6 hrs of performances. 12 companies performed yesterday. And although each performer gave dedication and entertainment it was Sashar’s performance close to the beginning of the day and Gadfly’s screening of a performance piece followed by a beautifully choreographed live performance that bookended the day in a perfect way.

So in light of that, I guess I can let the Rihanna conundrum go!

More info on Sashar Zarif

More info on Gadfly