In this article, I decided to talk about Persian dances because after the Iran revolution, dancing was banned for women and I’m trying to keep this great tradition alive in the hope that one day we will be able to dance freely in our country. Since we can’t dance in Iran most of the Persian dancers left Iran and live outside of Iran.
Dance (Raghs) has been a big part of Persian culture and identity for many years. Dancing had a significant role in religious rituals specifically in the faith of Zoroastrianism.
Genres of dance in Iran vary depending on the area, culture, and language of the local people, and can range from sophisticated reconstructions of refined court dances to energetic folk dances. The population of Iran includes many ethnicities, such as Kurds, Azerbaijanis, Turkmen, Jews, Armenian, Georgian peoples, in addition to numerous Iranian tribal groups which can be found within the borders of modern-day Iran. Each group, region, and historical epoch has specific dance styles associated with it.
Classical Persian court dances
These routines are basically remakes of the dances that came to existence in the reign of the Safavid and Qajar dynasties. solo dances, improvisational, often utilize delicate, graceful movements of the hands and arms with animated facial expressions are central to the concept of that difficult-to-define flirtatiousness. Persian classical dance has not been organized and codified. Thus each dancer creates her own style and improvises within a recognizably Persian framework of movements. Costumes for these types of dance feature rich silks, brocades and flowing long skirts.
The most known derivation of this style would be the Lezgi dance.
Another beautiful type would be the Diringi, which is slightly less known.
The Diringi is somewhat a similar type as the Persian Reng, as it is light and rhythmic. The Diringi differs in the tempo according to the feel of the dance routine.
A chain dance is often referred to as Persian Bellydance. Bandari dance is a chain dance that often involves multiple people dancing and often perform this at parties, traveling around in a circle. Sometimes it includes stepping into the center for a solo, with encouragement from other dancers. The only variations are in the arm movements. It is a Persian dance that prevails in the South of Iran next to the Persian Gulf and has been influenced by the African and Arabic music and dance. It is a combination of rhythmic movements in various directions according to the beat of the song. The distinct feature of this dance is the way performers wave their hands in a unique manner that resembles the cooperation of a group of fishermen at the sea. The word bandari means “of the port” and is a derivation of the Persian word Bandar, meaning port.
is a group of traditional hand-holding dances similar to those from the Middle Eastern countries. It is a form of a circle dance, with a single or a couple of figure dancers often added to the geometrical center of the dancing circle. According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, Kurds sing and dance in all of their festivals, birthdays, New Years, Newroz, marriage and other ceremonies. Its noteworthy that these folkloric dances are mixed-gender which distinguishes the Kurds from other neighboring Muslim populations.
One kind of dance in the north of Iran.
(or Sufi turning) (Turkish: Semazen borrowed from Persian Sama-zan, Sama, meaning singer, from Arabic, and zan, meaning doer, from Persian) is a form of physically active meditation which originated among certain Sufi groups. It is still practiced by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order and other orders such as the Rifa’i-Marufi. It is a customary meditation practice performed within the Sema, or worship ceremony, through which dervishes (also called semazens, from Persian سماعزن) aim to reach the source of all perfection, or karma. This is sought through abandoning one’s nafs, ego or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning one’s body in repetitive circles, which has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun. The Mevlevi practice gave rise to an Egyptian form, tanoura, distinguished by the use of a multicolored skirt. This has also developed into a performance dance by non-Sufis, including dancers outside the Islamic world.
This is a type of humorous Iranian dance done by working class men of South Tehran. However nowadays it’s also performed by women.