sashar zarif

March 30 to April 2, 2022

Kismet قسمت

Sashar Zarif



March 30, 2022: 7:30 p.m.

March 31, 2022: 7:30 p.m.

April 1, 2022: 7:30 p.m.

April 2, 2022: 7:30 p.m.

Kismet قسمت is a ritual of transforming fate to Destiny. What will you do with what is given to you? A thrumming auditory call reverberates among the quartet of dancers and singers whose breaths and bodies collaboratively create painterly images, spilling one into another. A river of dance and sound whose ebb and flow are as hypnotising and collective as any body of water. A self-study through memory which investigates the idea that identity is not the product but rather the process of an ongoing constructive negotiation amongst the cultures, languages, and experiences that we each carry with ourselves.


Kismet قسمت is presented in the contemporary style of Mugham which is an integrated practice Zarif has developed that blends dance, music, and storytelling inspired and informed by the Sufi and Shamanic rituals of Islamic societies. In it, words communicate the mental, music transmits the emotional, and dance conveys the physical. These influences on the work are deeply rooted in Sashar Zarif’s nomadic ancestry.

  1. Kismet, ocean in a drop is Zarif’s group piece that examines the limitations of freedom, wondering if, in walking our path, we are determining or accepting our fate.  Surrendering to the call of stillness with glides of movement can we claim serenity in the midst of passing and possessing?
  2. Grandmother’s Drum is Zarif’s newest Solo that explores the concept of ownership versus stewardship of home as it is practiced in nomadic culture.

I spent my early formative years by the side of my 94-year-old grandmother and her ever- present hand drum, ‘the door to the spirit world ’,” as she called it. My grandmother taught me about life through stories accompanied by dances and songs. These were rituals about the body and breath, earth, and air. She would say, ‘we are the story, and our job is not to tell our story: our mission in this life is to be the story, my son.‘

This solo is inspired by the responsibility I feel to bring our living stories together, merge them with the world we live in now, and share with others the transformations I have experienced.

Credits: Choreography: Sashar Zarif | Performance: Tanveer Alam, Mairéad Filgate, Ethan Kim, Kathia Wittenborn and Sashar Zairf | Creative facilitator: Katherine Duncanson | Sound design: Sashar Zarif | Lighting design: Arun Srinivasan | Associate Lighting Design: Noah Feaver.