Members of the Farima’s Comox Valley Simorgh Collective taken at a previous weekend training session at the Abbey Studio in Cumberland. Photo by Varol Ozkaner

Cumberland dance performance celebrates the women of the Silk Road

The Abbey Studio in Cumberland is hosting international dance artist and scholar Farima Berenji, on Friday, March 9.

Berenji will be showcasing traditional and classical dances from Persia and the Silk Road, and her Comox Valley dance collective, Simorgh, will be performing group pieces inspired by the women of those regions.

The night will also feature a Sufi whirling Sema gathering, open to all, after the performances. Under the guidance of Berenji, participants will be given whirling instruction with the opportunity to experience the Sema, complete with live musical accompaniment and sacred Sufi poetry.

This event takes place the day after International Women’s Day and is a remarkable way to celebrate the women of the world. International Women’s Day, officially acknowledged by the UN in 1975 in solidarity with women’s rights and contributions, is recognized by over 100 countries around the globe.

“When portraying ethnic dances of the Silk Road, the Simorgh Dance Collective recognizes the historic and cultural significance of women in their role toiling or celebrating family and community, as souls seeking the beauty of nature and spirit, or as legendary figures fighting and commanding for good,” said Berenji. “When [Simorgh] members learn the art of Silk Road dance, teamwork, problem solving, and an appreciation for international culture, it also helps empower them to share this art and principles in the story of dance, costume, and movement. The Simorgh Dance Collective praises the role of international women not just one day a year but each day. We are the dance warriors who keep the culture alive. We are the lionesses who keeps the women rituals alive.”

As an archeologist, anthropologist and dance ethnologist, much of Farima’s work is dedicated to The Lioness Project, researching the wisdom, costuming and dance of the ancient Amazons of Persia, Sumeria, Ionia and the Near East. Her mission is to share the hidden history of these ancient warrioresses with the world. As a Sufi and Magi (shaman), she brings her sacred healing technique not only to dance events and workshops, but also to hospitals in Iran and the United States.

The Simorgh Dance Collective is Farima’s worldwide collaboration with other traditional dancers and musicians, including a group of dancers in the Comox Valley who are dedicated to learning the artistry and history of the Silk Road. Using Farima’s teachings and choreographies, the collective frequently performs at various events throughout the Valley.

Doors for the dance performances at The Abbey open at 7:30 p.m. All ages are welcome. Admission is by donation. The Abbey is wheelchair accessible and seating considerations have been made to support those with mobility issues. Performances start at 8 p.m. and the Sema begins at 9. Please wear white or light clothing if you plan to attend the Sema.

The Abbey is located 2689 Penrith Ave. with the entrance on 1st Street. For more information call Cathy Stoyko at 250-218-0704, or email cdstoyko@uniserve.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Village of Cumberland is anticipating a municipal tax hike of 4.95 per cent for the coming year. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland expects tax hike of 4.95 per cent

Budget talks are still preliminary as bylaw has to go through council

This is what the area near Lewis Park looked like during flooding in November 2009. File photo
Grant helps Comox Valley Regional District address rising sea level, storm surges

The Comox Valley Regional District, in partnership with K’ómoks First Nation, has… Continue reading

Vanier student Tristan Rendell is helping to organize the discussion on COVID-19 for young people. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Students to talk COVID on Zoom Nov. 4

Young people 12-29 can sign up for virtual discussion

Julia Strobach. File Photo
Nearing seventh anniversary, Valley RCMP continue search for Julia Strobach

“We know that someone has information that will help us locate her.”

Comox author Loraine Hartley, with a few copies of her debut novel, “My Delightfully Dysfunctional Family.” Photo supplied
Comox author pens novel about life in a blended family

Generally speaking, authors write their books, then determine a title. But not… Continue reading

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are looking for information about William Mack, last seen in Duncan on Oct. 28. (File photo)
Police searching for missing man last seen near Duncan

William Mack, 72, was seen on Gibbins Road on Oct. 28

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Most Read