Shahrzad Hamzeh


Graduate Student


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Creation Date

Spring 2020


Theatre and Dance


I remember the fear I had when feeling the need to get up and dance to the music playing in a party. My mum would say we don’t want people to say how a cantor’s, a religious singer’s, daughter can dance. I must dance when I feel down, to make sense of the cruelty of the world. I had to be careful not to do anything that resembled rhythmic movements. Once as I was crossing the street with one of my friends, a boy, I did a turn holding his hand. He said he would never approve of his partner doing things like that, as it is breaking a taboo. I came here to get away from such judgment. Little did I know that on this side of the world, people do not even know that Persian dance exists! That is why I decided to research History of Persian dance: in order to give it its due recognition. I am most interested in researching Baba Karam, known for its jazz-looking costume including the handkerchiefs and the hat, all of which are essential to the movements involved in this Persian style of dance.