INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP MEMBER ENSEMBLES
Eastern Arts is a non-profit organization of dancers, artists, musicians, and scholars who present the folkways and traditions of many lands and peoples.
Eastern Arts originated in 1960 and has been active internationally presenting dance and music of lands from Asia to North Africa, from India to the Balkans in concerts, workshops, publications, audio and video productions.
Eastern Arts is incorporated in Utah, Nevada and California and has performed worldwide. Main offices are in Salt Lake City, Utah. Director is Katherine St. John and founders are Dr. Lloyd Miller and Dr. Daryoush Safvat now in Tehran, Iran.
Members of Eastern Arts are available for educational lectures, workshops, school assemblies and entertaining, informative concerts of music and dance from many traditions. Our programs often feature up to 30 dancers and musicians.
Performance Ensembles include:
- Eastern Arts: Ensemble featuring traditional music, dance and song of Persia, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Turkey, the Caucasus, NW China and more.
- International Dance Theatre: Presenting traditional dance from many nations and ethnicities.
- Sounds of Silk: An exhibit of textiles and instruments from areas found on the former Silk Road in Asia.
- WorlDance: An annual concert held at Kingsbury Hall featuring music and dance from Iran, Afghanistan, Greece, Turkey, Central Asia and more. Each year we invite guest performers such as Brigham Young University Folk Dancers, Character Dance Ensemble from the University of Utah, Dionysius Greek Dancers, soloists such as Banafsheh Sayyad, Shahla Sarshar, Mohammad Nejad, Latif Bolat, Anwar Yusuf and many others.
ETHNIC DANCE THEATRE
Ethnic Dance Theatre (EDT) is an award-winning company that is the only professional dance company in the Upper Midwest (and one of few in the USA) dedicated to the artistic performance and preservation of world music, song and dance.
Since its founding in 1974, EDT has brought over 50 different cultures and traditions to life in colorful and spellbinding performances. EDT dancers perform to live music by the EDT Folk Orchestra, and the company’s extensive repertoire of folk dance and music includes such diverse countries as Austria, Albania, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Lebanon, Mexico, Mongolia, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tibet, Turkey, Russia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. . .to name but a few!
Each year, the company presents as many as 300 programs, including full ensemble performances, smaller ensemble programs, school workshops, residencies and informances. In celebration of the enduring nature of folk dance as a participatory activity, the company also hosts annual community dance parties where audience members explore their own cultural traditions as well as those of others through dance and cuisine.
The majority of EDT’s performers are also active in either the wider arts community and/or in various ethnic communities of the Minneapolis and St. Paul area and beyond. EDT performers’ involvement in the wider community is crucial to the many bridges that have been built between EDT and the arts and ethnic communities in our region and beyond. EDT also has an award-winning costume collection that is, in addition to the incredible talent of EDT performers, the pride and joy of the company. Please click here to read more about and to view photos of our costume collection.members explore cultural traditions through dance and cuisine.
The majority of EDT’s performers are also active in either the wider arts community and/or in various ethnic communities of the Minneapolis and St. Paul area and beyond.
EDT also has an award-winning costume collection that is, in addition to the incredible talent of EDT performers, the pride and joy of the company. Please click here to read more about and to view photos of the costume collection.
Auditions for dancers and singers are held annually in the spring. Interested parties should have background in dance or music performance. Dancers should be prepared to sing, and singers prepared to move, as many pieces in the ensemble repertoire involve both.
FFI: contact Artistic Director Donald LaCourse.
For booking information, please contact Managing Director Tamara Layman at:
Ethnic Dance Theatre
2101 Bryant Avenue South, Suite 308
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Phone: (763) 545-1333
Simorgh Dance Collective — (Farima Dance Company)
In 2007, Farima Berenji established the Farima Dance Company in the San Francisco Bay Area, a dance ensemble that seeks to interpret, present, and perform traditional classical, folkloric, and sacred dances of the Silk Road. Based on her training and experience with the Farima Dance Company, she began a worldwide collaboration with other traditional dancers and musicians in the Simorgh Dance Collective, a world community of expert and emerging artists devoted to cross-cultural dialogue and artistic collaboration through traditional, classical, and sacred dance styles of the Silk Road.
The not-for-profit Simorgh Dance Collective currently has member companies and artist affiliations in Alaska, British Columbia, Turkey, Iran, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Member companies recruit and train student and professional dancers in a program of Silk Road or Near Eastern choreographies, learn Silk Road history and culture, acquire or create traditional costuming, and present dances of the Silk Road to their communities.
The Simorgh Dance Collective is honored to be the first Persian dance company directed by an Iranian woman to perform during a U.S. presidential reception.
INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE ENSEMBLE
(Brigham Young University)
The International Folk Dance Ensemble (IFDE) of Brigham Young University has been touring abroad since 1964. The past three years alone have seen the group in Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland, France, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, China, and throughout North America. As an emissary of the United States and American folklore, the group has become internationally famous at the most prestigious folk dance festivals abroad, where they perform with many of the finest dance companies world-wide.
The troupe boasts 43 musicians, singers, and dancers, who combine to form one of the most unique groups of performing artists in the United States. Mountain Strings, the group’s folk music ensemble, is featured throughout the concert and adds the magic of live music. The performers, all students of Brigham Young University, come from throughout the United States.
IFDE originates in the Department of Dance of the College of Health and Human Performance at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. BYU is one of the nation’s largest private universities with an enrollment of more than 30,000 students representing all fifty states and over 100 foreign countries.
In-house auditions for the Performance Arts Company are held annually in late August at Brigham Young University. High school seniors and college transfers audition in late January preceding their fall enrollment. Auditions to enter the folk dance program, 200 members strong, occur at the beginning of both fall and winter semesters. For more information:
The Duquesne University Tamburitzans, founded in 1937 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the oldest existing university-based performing folk ensemble in the United States. The Tamburitzans take their name from the tamburitza family of stringed instruments indigenous to the folk cultures of Southeastern Europe. The group exists for the dual purpose of preserving and perpetuating the Eastern European cultural heritage in the United States and offering scholarship opportunities to talented and deserving students. The 38 students who comprise the performing ensemble come from all corners of the world, and from various ethnic and religious backgrounds. While on scholarship at Duquesne, they may study in any academic area of their choice.
The Tamburitzans travel extensively throughout the continental United States, performing up to 80 concerts within each season in large cities and small towns alike. They have also made 10 international tours which have taken them to Yugoslavia, Italy, Latin America (10 countries), Romania, Poland, the Soviet Union, France, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Bulgaria and Canada. In all their travels, the Tamburitzans have been extremely well-received and have been honored throughout the world for their expertise and professionalism.
For the past 60 years, the Tamburitzan s have presented the music, songs and dances of Eastern Europe. However, for their 10 trips abroad they have added another dimension to their repertoire by presenting songs, dances and music of the U.S.A.
In-house auditions are held annually in early February at the Tamburitzans Administration Building in Pittsburgh. High school seniors and college under-graduates talented in the disciplines of dance, music, or singing are encouraged to apply. For more information, to request a scholarship application, or schedule an audition:
For information regarding fees and availability, contact::