Pulling The Strings

© Ali Sabooki / The Tehran Times

Pulling the Strings: A Marionette by Araz Fazaeli is a collaboration among The Tehran Times*, a number of Iranian Fashion Designers from all over the world, a team of photographers and two performers who played the role of marionette puppets in this editorial. The idea behind the project was first, to make a big multi-disciplinary collaboration possible bringing people together from various fields. A dance clip was also made alongside the editorial which could be found on the Instagram page of TheTehranTimes.

* From its inception in 2012, The Tehran Times has continuously sought to frame Iran’s thriving street fashion, lifestyle and pop culture from Tehran’s bleeding edge.

Senses in Beirut

© Jimmy Dabbagh

During the Beirut International Platform of Dance in April of 2017, Loic Perela together with 3 of the dancers from his piece, Senses were invited to perform the piece in Beirut.

As part of Moultaqa Leymoun organized by Maqamat Dance Theater, a workshop was given by Loic and two dancers from the Leymoun artists (Hoor Malas and Sina Saberi) were selected to join the dancers, learn the piece and perform it within bipod 2017.

About Senses:

“SENSES is an attempt to embrace the human senses as the elements that bind us human beings. In this fast and rapidly changing world, where agendas dictate our lives, we seem to keep longing for more without really knowing why. Can we slow down and pay attention to what surrounds us? To see, hear, feel, taste and smell. How can we use the natural functions of our body to (re-)discover and embrace the world around us to its full potential?”


Sideways Rain in Beirut

© Natalie Salsa . April 2016 . Chouf

Within the framework of Moutaqa Leymoun organized by Maqamat Dance Theater, 12 artists from all over the middle east were invited to Beirut during Beirut International Platform of Dance to present their own work and also collaborate in a very special project. We trained and learned ALIAS/Guilherme Botelho’s Sideways Rain up in the mountains of Chouf. The choreographer himself together with 4 dancers of the company helped us learn the piece very intensively and then the piece was performed during BIPOD festival.


MaHa ‘body movement’ Festival

© Sanaz Raeisi . March 2016 . Tehran

MaHa ‘body movement’ Festival had its first edition in the March of 2016. one year after ‘No. 3, Tehran’ the collective was able to receive the permission to initiate this overground ‘body movement’ festival with the support of Dramatic Arts Center of Iran and Daa Theater House and present 9 choreographic pieces by 9 artists. This festival went on for 9 days and welcomed a large number of people and made it to the public press. The significant point about this approved ‘body movement’ festival is the fact that it was a first since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Some of the pieces presented in this festival are still touring internationally.

The list of works presented in the festival is as follows:

Room by Heeva Sedaqat
She by Armineh Astanbood
Prelude by Sina Saberi
Translation by Sanaz Raeisi
Parantheses by Maryam Bagheri Nesami
Shekarpareh by Mitra Ziaee Kia
Passage by Irandokht Yousefi
Suddenly by Mostafa Shabkhan

No. 3, Tehran

© Hooman Nobakht . March 2015 . Tehran

During this private event which took place in the underground studio of MaHa Collective, long before MaHa was founded, we presented 8 short pieces. Most of these works were the first choreographic tryouts of the artists involved. At the time, independent dance artist, Mostafa Shabkhan was in charge of training and mentorship for all these artists. This event took place for about one week and in our audience we welcomed film makers, visual artists, musicians, theater directors, performers etc. from various fields in order to share our choreographic experiences and also receive feedback for our processes. The artists involved in the project were: Mostafa Shabkhan, Maryam Bagheri Nesami, Mitra Ziaee Kia, Armineh Astanboos, Sanaz Raeisi, Shirin Farshbaf, Soroush Kariminejad, Mahsa Ranjbarian, Soheyla Salehi, Pooneh Baniasad & Ava Golkar.



by Kimia Rahgozar
© Kimia Rahgozar

Coming from a background in Literature, Teaching & Communication, Sina found his path in the performing arts in 2012. He helped establish and co-found an independent dance collective called MaHa alongside seven other young artists in Tehran. MaHa has had several successful dance creations in Iran (including Iran’s first Body Movement Festival in March 2016) some of which currently touring around the world. His artistic journey is inspired much by the urgency of the performing arts in initiating urgent dialogue. In terms of movement, Sina is curious about the (minimum) 40-year gap that the art form of dance has faced in Iran and wonders what Iranian contemporary dance might look like. dealing with questions of identity rising out of a very particular context called the Islamic Republic, he looks at elements within the Persian culture and how they might still be relevant today within his and the broader context. in December 2017 he founded Kahkeshān; a community-based organization dedicated to dance research & creation. He works as an adviser for various projects within the dance community of Iran such as MaHa Collective and IPAC (Iranian Performing Arts Community). Sina’s artistic work is supported by Maqamat & APAP Performing Europe 2020.

5 & 6 April – Chareleroi Danse, Brussels

Kahkeshān’s Constellation Exchange Modality
with Rósa Ómarsdóttir [Secondhand Knowledge]

1 – 14 February, Tehran

creative residency for BASIS FOR BEING 
15 – 29 October 18 – BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen

Focus Young Mediterranean & Middle East Choreographers
28 May 18 – Cross Festival, Verbania . prelude
29 May 18 – Interplay Festival, Turino . prelude
1 June 18 – Fabbrica Europa, Florence . prelude
2 June 18 – Fabbrica Europa, Florence . damnoosh

6 June 18 – La Strada Festival, Brescia . prelude
20 June 18 – Inequilibrio Festival, Castiglioncello . damnoosh/prelude
21 June 18 – Inequilibrio Festival, Castiglioncello . damnoosh/prelude

23 June 18 – Inteatro Festival, Ancona . damnoosh
30 June 18 – La Mama Umbria, Spoleto . prelude
1 July 18 – La Mama Umbria, Spoleto . prelude
2 September 18 – Corpografie Festival, Pescara . prelude
5 September 18 – Danza Urbana, Bologna . prelude
8 – 14 September 18 – Dance Hub Creative Residency, Anghiari
14 September 18 – Archivio Diaristico Nazionale, Pieve Santo Stefano . prelude

PRELUDE within Kiertoliike 2018
24 – 25 May 18 – Tampere

IETM Porto Plenary Meeting
26 – 29 April 18 – Porto

presenting BASIS FOR BEING within Moultaqa Leymoun
13 – 15 April 18 – Beirut

DAMNOOSH within ‘Nowruz’ 
18 – 25 March 18 – Kunstencentrum Nona

Paradise 3.0 science fiction unlimited by co>labs  
14 – 21 January 18 – Tafelhalle, Nuremberg

KAHKESHAN Residency [with Anotnia Steffens]
4 – 31 December 17 – Tehran

PRELUDE – No Body Festival 
2 December 17 – Lefkosia

Dance Congress – Maqamat Dance Theater
27 – 29 November 17 – Beirut

IETM Plenary Meeting
22 – 26 November 17 – Brussels

LETHE – Dancing on The Edge Festival
14 November 17 – Amsterdam
16 November 17 – Utrecht
17 November 17 – Rotterdam