Simorgh Dance collective members and workshop participants learning a rice harvest dance from Iran.

Celebrate Persian New Year

Friday March 11, at The Abbey Studio in Cumberland

Come celebrate Norouz the Persian New Year and enjoy homemade Persian baking and dance performances in an exotic teahouse setting.

On Friday March 11, The Abbey Studio in Cumberland, located at 1st & Penrith Ave. will be transformed into a Persian teahouse with beautiful carpets, cozy cushion, and ambient lighting.

There will also be a bazaar table and silent auction in support of Simorgh, the Comox Valley’s one and only Persian Dance Collective. We are celebrating the upcoming New Year which happens on March 20, the first day of spring and sharing dances we have learned from our teacher Farima Berenji. We are a group committed to furthering studies in Persian dance and dances of the Silk Road under the guidance of our teacher Farima as part of her larger collective project. Local dance teacher and owner of the Abbey Studio, Cathy Stokyo, has been hosting semi-annual weekend dance intensives with Farima in Cumberland since 2013 and in March 2015 the Comox Valley Simorgh Collective was formed. Simorgh currently has member companies in Alaska, Turkey, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Mauritius, the San Francisco Bay Area and now here in the Comox Valley. The Comox Valley collective meet for regular practices at the Abbey Studio and often perform at community events sharing these dances respectfully. Funds raised at this event will go towards providing subsidies for collective members, to assist in the cost of bringing our teacher Farima and, towards creating new costumes.

This is a free all ages event but cash donations will be graciously accepted at the door and folks are encouraged to shop at the bazaar and bid at the silent auction in support of our efforts. Many local business such as Silhouette’s Dance Shop, Hollie Wood Oysters and Corks and Caps have generously donated items for the silent auction.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and there will be performances throughout the evening ending at 10 p.m. Farima will be back in the Comox Valley for an evening of dance performances and a Sema gathering aka Sufi Whirling on Friday April 15. She will also be teaching workshops on April 16-17 at the Abbey and these are open to everyone, not just collective members.

For more information about the Simorgh fundraiser or upcoming dance workshops with Farima call Cathy at (250) 218-0704. You can join our Persian Teahouse event on Facebook found on the Abbey Studio page and bids for the silent auction can be placed in advance on the event page online. For more information about Simorgh Dance Collective and Farima Berenji visit



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