June 14 & 15, 2013 at Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle
ANAR DANA, Helene Eriksen’s Traditional Dance Theatre, presents women’s dance and culture from the regions of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. ANAR means pomegranate and DANA seed; the name symbolizes the crystalline beauty of collective traditions, where each kernel is unique and luminous, yet together they form a fruit that is celebrated in the Middle East as a symbol of beauty, fertility and culture. Helene Eriksen is an internationally renowned dancer, scholar and choreographer. The performance is supported by an Art Projects award.
The ancient traditions of the predominately Muslim societies of the Middle East are largely unknown in the West and are disappearing quickly in our globalizing world. Our view of the cultures of the Muslim world are skewed by clichés, deep seated fears and current wars. ANAR DANA brings these breathtaking and inspiring traditions into a new focus for a wider audience through professional dance concerts with spectacular music and costumes.
Every year in September a new group of women begin on the ten-month long journey that is ANAR DANA, meeting once a month for an intensive twelve-hour weekend workshop. This year’s repertoire includes dances from Tunisia, the Upper Egyptian Region of the Said, the Roma of Macedonia, the courts of the Ottoman Empire, the Northern Caucasian Region of Daghestan, the Qashqa’i nomads of Iran and the Paktia region of Afghanistan. In addition, Helene Eriksen will join the project ensemble on stage with evocative solo dances from the Uzbek population of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the Greek rembetiko tradition and from the classical takht musical traditions of Syria.
Want to know more about ANAR DANA? Listen to what this year’s members have to say about the experience.
Join the ANAR DANA Facebook page.
Contact Helene Eriksen