WHAT: Anna Djanbazian, multiple Lester Horton Award 2004 winning choreographer and recent recipient of two Dance Grand Prix Italia 2005 awards, will premiere her latest full evening contemporary dance theatre piece RUMI: PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT at the Ralph Freud Playhouse at UCLA on Saturday January 7th and Sunday January 8th 2006 at 8:00pm. The meeting of the mystics, poets and philosophers Molana Jalaleddin Rumi & Shams Tabrizi in the 13th century has inspired Djanbazian’s contemporary dance theatre work in two-acts. Djanbazian has woven a theatrical movement tapestry of rich and sensual harmony using the exceptional abilities of the Djanbazian Dance Company, guest artist Johnathan Sharp as RUMI, threaded with other guest artists including: vocalist Shahla Sarookhani, musicians Mehrdad Naghibian & Kamran Aghtaee, improvisational movement signer Mary Lee Sanders, poetry recitation by Keowa Li Newell and Rumi’s mystical words.

Molana Jalaleddin Rumi was a theologian and scholar of traditional methods, but after meeting the enigmatic spiritual friend and teacher “the wild holy man” Shams, Rumi experienced a divine transformation and began his extraordinary work. He conceived thousands of ghazals (a form of Persian poetry), couplets and quatrains all influenced by the mystifying relationship with Shams who without explanation vanished leaving an indelible impression on Rumi.

Rumi has inspired artists, seekers of truth and those walking the path of enlightenment with his words, thoughts and mystic connotations. Anna Djanbazian will inspire the viewer with RUMI: PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT by weaving live percussion, singing, poetry recitation, improvisational movement signing and the divine language of the human soul through her art of contemporary dance laced with her traditional expertise.

“Dance as though no one is watching
Love, as though you’ve never been hurt before,
Sing, as though no one can hear you,
Work, as though you don’t need the money,
Live, as though heaven is on Earth.”
Molana Jalaleddin Rumi

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