Raise your hand. Who out there knows anything about Persian dance? I’m sure a few hands went up but not many. The Dance Center at Columbia College thinks it is time for that to change. One of the few bearers of Persian dance outside of Iran where women’s dancing is banned in public, Banafsheh Sayyad and the work of her company NAMAH, aims to express the power of ancient mysticism through a combination of hypnotic trance and directed movement. Sayyad’s dance language traverses culture, weaving together the ethereal qualities of Persian dance with the physically charged and intuitive power of her own contemporary style. NAMAH’s program of solos and ensemble work will be accompanied live by ZARBANG, a four-member Iranian percussion and woodwind ensemble. In a time when a presidential candidate’s middle name gives people a reason not to vote for him, we could all benefit from getting outside our bubble and sharing an experience that proves different can be beautiful. (William Scott)
At The Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan, (312)369-6600, October 16-18.