Poetry In Motion

Holly and Farima after the Jewish Nutcracker production at ODC Theatre San Francisco

Holly and Farima after the Jewish Nutcracker production at ODC Theatre San Francisco

Today I had the pleasure of working with San Francisco Bay Area dancer and ethnologist, Farima Berenji.  Farima and I met while we were both doing the run for my friend Katy’s production The Jewish Nutcracker . Farima made a most exquisite Persian Sufganiyot Fairy as you can see from the picture. Farima has been working on this Poetry in Motion project using Persian poetry for over a year now.  She thought it might be interesting to collaborate with me as a flamenco dancer. As she was describing  this project it reminded me of my piece from last summer, Describe Yourself As A Work of Art.  For one section of that presentation, I had audience members do a writing exercise where they described themselves as a work of art and then also explored what they were resisting in that moment.  Then, in the dance performance with the girls, I read one of the audience members’ prose and the dancer interpreted  it. This was a truly powerful experience for both the dancer, but also the woman whose writing was danced.  She was about 40 years old and came up to me later and expressed how moved she was to have something so close to her heart interpreted by this teenage dancer. Farima was thrilled to hear about this experience and we decided to also include this exercise in the upcoming performance. So if you come to the Salon just know we may be asking you to write a little something for our dance inspiration;)

This is just a taste from today’s rehearsal.  The “music” is Persian poetry. I can’t tell you what its about cause its a secret;) Come to the salon and find out the answer! We are performing this as an improvisation at my event the Sunday Salon coming up January 27th at the Garden Gate Creativity Center in Berkeley.



About Holly Shaw

Holly Shaw is a San Francisco Bay Area dancer and choreographer who has performed as a soloist with Yaelisa and Caminos Flamencos off and on for several years. Shaw is the creator of the Eve’s Elixir project, a platform for artists of contemporary world dance wanting to bring new ideas to traditional dance forms, and has produced several shows in San Francisco. Her flow between contemporary modern dance, flamenco and Middle-eastern styles makes her a unique choreographer. Shaw has spent years training Bay Area dancers in technique and improvisation, challenging them to dance from a deeper level and uncover their unique style.

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