Dance and “Counter-Dance” in Modern Iran

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Institutional Affiliation : 
University of Toronto
Academic Bio: 
Ida Meftahi is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. She is also receiving a minor in Drama Studies. Her research interest is the intellectual formation of performing arts in Iran, the Iranian Theatrical Dance in particular. Ida also has a Master’s in Dance from York University, where she researched the history of Iranian dance in the 20th century and completed a thesis on “Writings on Dance in Iran from 1930 to1980.” She has presented papers at several conferences including SDHS (Society of Dance History Scholars), CORD (Congress on Research in Dance), and AIS (Association for Iranian Studies). She is currently editing a documentary book on Iranian dance. Her interest in dance stems from her own experience as a performer and choreographer. She received her dance training from Farzaneh Kaboli, the lead dancer of the National Dance Company of Iran prior to the Revolution of 1979. Ida has performed widely both in Iran and Canada, also appearing on CBC Television. Her recent performances have received media coverage on CBC Radio and in the Toronto Star.

Tracing the dialogic relation between the dancing subject and the discourse on dance in twentieth-century Iran, this paper explores the sublimation of the theatrical dance through a departure from the popular public stage and defamiliarization of the performers’ bodily appearance, behaviour,  and techniques.

Academic Discipline : 
Near and Middle Eastern Studies
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