Programs

Banafsheh performs in a wide variety of venues ranging from proscenium theaters to alternative spaces such as churches, temples, outdoor stages and private events. She performs solo work with the option of 1 to 5 musicians and an orator. The following are current programs:

Beloved

Beloved is an evening-length multi-disciplinary dance, music and spoken word project created in collaboration by Banafsheh, actor and director Shila Ommi who recites the poetry of Rumi, multi-instrumentalist and composer Tony Khalife who performs his original compositions, Pejman Hadadi, the foremost Iranian percussionist, and Ruth Cunningham, former vocalist with Anonymous 4.

 

Into the Vast

Banafsheh and the music group ZARBANG’s exuberant evening-length work exploring the theme of surrendering oneself to the inner being seated in the temple of the Heart. Contemporary Persian dance and music merge with Flamenco and Dervish dance in this concert of passionate improvisation. The recitation of Rumi poems in English interspersed with the original Persian nuance the evening. This program is with 4 musicians, with or without an orator.

 

Entrance

In this full-evening program, Banafsheh, one of the leading interpreters of Rumi in dance, explores the theme of trance as entering into union with the Beloved. Based on the ceremony of the Sufi Whirling Darvishes, she interprets the 4 stages of the ceremony through dance and spoken word. This program of spiritual transformation can be presented with recorded music or with 2 – 4 musicians.

 

ESHQ – Love’s Wild Fire

Banafsheh offers a dance and live poetry evening based in Rumi’s poems and Sufi mysticism with scholar and mystic Andrew Harvey. This full-evening program can be presented with recorded music or with 2 to 4 musicians. The essence of the Sufi path of love and of Rumi’s vision is ”Eshq,” the Persian word for ”love”— the wild passion of love that burns in every cell for the Beloved. Banafsheh and Andrew take the audience on a holy and explosive journey into Eshq through a marriage of Banafsheh’s ecstatic dance with Rumi’s most poignant poems and Andrew’s inspired teachings.

 

Download Banafsheh’s Performance Kit

What people say …

Caroline Myss, Renowned Author and Teacher

I had the pleasure of attending Banafsheh's a performance at Kripalu Center in MA. In watching her dance, I knew I was witnessing a master performer in action. Banafsheh is the quintessential professional in her field not only as a dancer but as an artistic interpreter of Rumi and in explaining the brilliance of that renowned Sufi mystic.




Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-15T16:00:33-08:00
I had the pleasure of attending Banafsheh's a performance at Kripalu Center in MA. In watching her dance, I knew I was witnessing a master performer in action. Banafsheh is the quintessential professional in her field not only as a dancer but as an artistic interpreter of Rumi and in explaining the brilliance of that renowned Sufi mystic.

Deepak Chopra, Renowned Author and Teacher

Banafsheh is one of the greatest sacred dancers I have seen.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-15T16:05:29-08:00
Banafsheh is one of the greatest sacred dancers I have seen.

Caroline Coyle, Student, Canada

Banafsheh embodies and expresses the Divine Feminine in all that she does.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-18T07:36:24-08:00
Banafsheh embodies and expresses the Divine Feminine in all that she does.

Jane Garland, MD, Audience member, Canada

Banafsheh’s dance is a manifestation of Beauty, a taste of the divine through all the senses…both unearthly magic and a full incarnation of what only human beings can do - to speak of the Beloved in entirely new creative ways in each moment.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-05-17T02:26:59-07:00
Banafsheh’s dance is a manifestation of Beauty, a taste of the divine through all the senses…both unearthly magic and a full incarnation of what only human beings can do - to speak of the Beloved in entirely new creative ways in each moment.

Farzaneh Aryaee, Student, Germany

Banafsheh is the ambassador of peace, love, and oneness. She is also a healer who reconnects body and soul.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-11-03T22:12:21-07:00
Banafsheh is the ambassador of peace, love, and oneness. She is also a healer who reconnects body and soul.

Susanne Bowra, PhD, Student, US

Banafsheh's teaching is vital to my recovery from corporate exhaustion. Since finding this amazing spiritual teacher at the beginning of the year, I have dedicated myself seriously to this study. She facilitates a sensuous, feminine, powerful embodiment of the soul, a spiritual path that I am dedicating myself to exploring. She holds a loving and vibrant energy for the room that enables me to go further than I could by myself.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-12-07T23:08:24-08:00
Banafsheh's teaching is vital to my recovery from corporate exhaustion. Since finding this amazing spiritual teacher at the beginning of the year, I have dedicated myself seriously to this study. She facilitates a sensuous, feminine, powerful embodiment of the soul, a spiritual path that I am dedicating myself to exploring. She holds a loving and vibrant energy for the room that enables me to go further than I could by myself.

Anne Round, Student, US

Banafsheh's grace and beauty is rippling ever outward to encompass the world. Her sessions are a delight and fresh adventure into devotion for me. The dance is one of my favourite devotional practices and adding the Sama has enhanced this beautifully. The experiential nature was exactly what I had showed up for and received. I am very grateful to your creational light and to Tony Khalife's music to bring forth so much love in motion.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T06:20:16-08:00
Banafsheh's grace and beauty is rippling ever outward to encompass the world. Her sessions are a delight and fresh adventure into devotion for me. The dance is one of my favourite devotional practices and adding the Sama has enhanced this beautifully. The experiential nature was exactly what I had showed up for and received. I am very grateful to your creational light and to Tony Khalife's music to bring forth so much love in motion.

Nataschaa Chatterton, Student, US

Dance of Oneness is far beyond what I expected. I attend many workshops of varied subjects, primarily focused on healing. This was such an amazing tapestry of knowledge and wisdom to touch all elements of the being; mind, body, spirit, emotion, heart. Such a graceful approach to creating a climate to embody the wisdom.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:00:57-08:00
Dance of Oneness is far beyond what I expected. I attend many workshops of varied subjects, primarily focused on healing. This was such an amazing tapestry of knowledge and wisdom to touch all elements of the being; mind, body, spirit, emotion, heart. Such a graceful approach to creating a climate to embody the wisdom.

Dunan Herman-Parks, Student, US

I appreciated the overarching sense of inclusion and kindness. I felt it and it seemed like others did too. I am grateful for the sense of community that many spoke of during our reflections, that only moving together in Spirit can create. This is such a magnificent practice Banafsheh has created. This weekend I discovered that I have been separating my mind from my body and myself from the world. I have felt the oneness. Now instead of being grateful for my stomach, I am grateful for me and my stomach as part of me, of my whole being, from light above to roots below.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:05:15-08:00
I appreciated the overarching sense of inclusion and kindness. I felt it and it seemed like others did too. I am grateful for the sense of community that many spoke of during our reflections, that only moving together in Spirit can create. This is such a magnificent practice Banafsheh has created. This weekend I discovered that I have been separating my mind from my body and myself from the world. I have felt the oneness. Now instead of being grateful for my stomach, I am grateful for me and my stomach as part of me, of my whole being, from light above to roots below.

Joellen Holcomb, Student, US

Enlightening and energizing. I felt more open and surprisingly more energetic that I have in a long time. I was afraid I wouldn’t physically be up to the task of moving and stretching but that was not the case. Not only did Banafsheh allow for and encourage different levels of mobility and strength, but the movement she teaches is both gentle and flowing when taken together and mixed with music produce a joyous energy. I found it liberating to be encouraged to move freely to music that provides an (to me) intrinsically sacred and primal connection.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:10:11-08:00
Enlightening and energizing. I felt more open and surprisingly more energetic that I have in a long time. I was afraid I wouldn’t physically be up to the task of moving and stretching but that was not the case. Not only did Banafsheh allow for and encourage different levels of mobility and strength, but the movement she teaches is both gentle and flowing when taken together and mixed with music produce a joyous energy. I found it liberating to be encouraged to move freely to music that provides an (to me) intrinsically sacred and primal connection.

Kylee Smith, Student, US

This is a profound body of work for a profound experience of embodiment! I have studied and searched for 35 years for this depth of love and illumination that Banafsheh brings to the sacred dance floor.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:15:30-08:00
This is a profound body of work for a profound experience of embodiment! I have studied and searched for 35 years for this depth of love and illumination that Banafsheh brings to the sacred dance floor.

Helen Betgevargis, L.Ac., Student, US

At every retreat of Dance of Oneness, I come in touch with a different yet profound healing layer of spirit level. Dancing the movements that were very grounded in tribal beats, I got in touch with the mother earth’s whispers and beats. As the beats got louder and stronger, I could hear the lineage of tribal dancers moving through me. Banafsheh’s direction to stay in touch with our steps and our souls and to the earth’s embrace, stepping with reverence, I hear her whispering stories of these powerful tribal steps and movers. I feel a deep gratitude for all my ancestors who passed these on. At this moment as I feel deeply into my steps, imitating them from the depth of my heart, she smiles, I cry.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:20:15-08:00
At every retreat of Dance of Oneness, I come in touch with a different yet profound healing layer of spirit level. Dancing the movements that were very grounded in tribal beats, I got in touch with the mother earth’s whispers and beats. As the beats got louder and stronger, I could hear the lineage of tribal dancers moving through me. Banafsheh’s direction to stay in touch with our steps and our souls and to the earth’s embrace, stepping with reverence, I hear her whispering stories of these powerful tribal steps and movers. I feel a deep gratitude for all my ancestors who passed these on. At this moment as I feel deeply into my steps, imitating them from the depth of my heart, she smiles, I cry.

Marie Regis, L.Ac, Student, US

Transformative! Banafsheh skillfully takes us step by step to an experience of dance that brings me deeper into my body, to a peace of feeling grounded and open to beauty and to love. Most importantly for me, the process brought me to experience a lovingness toward myself. I appreciate her presence of gentleness and fierce passion, and I’m inspired to bring my best self into my world.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:25:52-08:00
Transformative! Banafsheh skillfully takes us step by step to an experience of dance that brings me deeper into my body, to a peace of feeling grounded and open to beauty and to love. Most importantly for me, the process brought me to experience a lovingness toward myself. I appreciate her presence of gentleness and fierce passion, and I’m inspired to bring my best self into my world.

Diane Holschuh, Student, US

My experience of the workshop was exactly what I need for my spiritual expansion. The pace was perfect for me. Banafsheh’s voice, pace, and care for the group was wonderful. I’m very excited to have found Banafsheh as a source of inspiration!
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:30:11-08:00
My experience of the workshop was exactly what I need for my spiritual expansion. The pace was perfect for me. Banafsheh’s voice, pace, and care for the group was wonderful. I’m very excited to have found Banafsheh as a source of inspiration!

Fida, Student, US

Beautiful experience. I was reminded of much that is eventual. To be free and love oneself deeply, and love others, this body, our temple and to explore its powers and extremities. As always, thank you Banafsheh for your beautiful guidance, teachings and poetry. Dancing on!
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:35:19-08:00
Beautiful experience. I was reminded of much that is eventual. To be free and love oneself deeply, and love others, this body, our temple and to explore its powers and extremities. As always, thank you Banafsheh for your beautiful guidance, teachings and poetry. Dancing on!

Dawn Parkin, Student, US

It is what I’ve been searching for deep inside… knowing that it existed somewhere, this embodiment of dancing my truth. Sacred dance allows for the expression of embracing the Divine through the bodies that we inhabit for a brief moment in time with deep gratitude.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2020-08-26T20:48:54-07:00
It is what I’ve been searching for deep inside… knowing that it existed somewhere, this embodiment of dancing my truth. Sacred dance allows for the expression of embracing the Divine through the bodies that we inhabit for a brief moment in time with deep gratitude.

Dawn Parkin, Student, US

It is what I’ve been searching for deep inside… knowing that it existed somewhere, this embodiment of dancing my truth. Sacred dance allows for the expression of embracing the Divine through the bodies that we inhabit for a brief moment in time with deep gratitude.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:40:07-08:00
It is what I’ve been searching for deep inside… knowing that it existed somewhere, this embodiment of dancing my truth. Sacred dance allows for the expression of embracing the Divine through the bodies that we inhabit for a brief moment in time with deep gratitude.

Deidre Washington, Student, US

It was an amazing, intense and sometimes overwhelming experience. At one point, the combination of Sama, the dancing, astrological and Sufi teaching, readings and encounters overwhelmed me with a unifying message/experience leading to a spiritual/emotional/physiological shift. I returned home grounded, fully embracing my feminine power and equipped with the tools to do my part in living in unison with all of the Beloved’s creations.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2017-01-16T07:45:43-08:00
It was an amazing, intense and sometimes overwhelming experience. At one point, the combination of Sama, the dancing, astrological and Sufi teaching, readings and encounters overwhelmed me with a unifying message/experience leading to a spiritual/emotional/physiological shift. I returned home grounded, fully embracing my feminine power and equipped with the tools to do my part in living in unison with all of the Beloved’s creations.

Brooke Elizabeth, Student, US

Banafsheh is a force of nature! She not only shares the life giving radiance that overflows from her heart and is embodied in her dance, she reminds us of our own divine embodiment and lovingly facilitates our expansion into that blissful state of union. YES! Heaven and Earth whirled into one.
Banafsheh Dance of Oneness
5
2020-10-09T13:47:40-07:00
Banafsheh is a force of nature! She not only shares the life giving radiance that overflows from her heart and is embodied in her dance, she reminds us of our own divine embodiment and lovingly facilitates our expansion into that blissful state of union. YES! Heaven and Earth whirled into one.
5
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Banafsheh Dance of Oneness