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coming soon, summer belly dance classes with Danielle Sherrod
In a paean to peace, Angelenos of diverse cultural and religious
backgrounds came together Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 as Levantine
Cultural Center celebrated its eighth anniversary. The "Middle East
Arts Festival for Peace"-a benefit for the center-included such
performing artists as Tony Khalife from Lebanon, Mamak Khadem and
Hamid Saeidi from Iran, and the Silk Road Music & Dance Ensemble,
representing Turkey, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, with Serpil Borazon on
vocals, Nyofu Tyson on saz, Neil Siegel on tar, and Robyn Friend on
daf. Friend also performed a traditional dance from Uzbekistan.
Kutsal, the indie rock singer from Istanbul, sang songs in both
English and Turkish. Armenia's folk/rock star, Gor Mkhitarian, whose
latest album is Spirit, poured his heart into several songs in
Armenian, while film composer and keyboardist Richard Horowitz ("The
Sheltering Sky", "Any Given Sunday") played the ney in both Moroccan
and Persian modes. Actress Shiva Rose from the film "David & Layla"
read one of her own poems, and performing poet Niloufar Talebi of The
Translation Project read in Farsi and English. The world electronica
fusion group, Naked Rhythm, whose compositions can be found on Tanta
Lounge and Buddha Bar compilations, raised the tempo of the night with
percussive electronica in both Arab and Indian modes. See photos, read
6/23/09, Spotlight on Iran
7/01/09, Salon on Iran
7/19/09, Kiyana Persian Sufi Dance Workshop
Thru 7/31/09, inside/outside & other oxymorons art exhibit
We've all been watching the news out of Iran with rapt attention. What
are the implications for the entire region if the protest movement
succeeds in shoring up hoped-for democracy? What can we do to support
freedom and human rights in Iran?
We will discuss this live during our Salon on Iran next Wednesday,
July 1st, and we invite you to join us along with guest speakers
Amitis Motevalli and Mark LeVine. While you're at Levantine Cultural
Center, take some time to discover the work of three hybrid artists
from the Middle East, Sama Alshaibi, Vahé Berberian and Adnan Charara.
Salon on Iran, July 1st, 7:30 pm
Levantine Cultural Center hosts a salon on Iran to discuss the recent
elections, ensuing public protest and goverment crackdown on freedom
of speech and assembly. The format is a public conversation with
artist/activist Amitis Motevalli and author/musician Mark LeVine,
followed by an open forum where your perspectives are welcome
(meanwhile, post your thoughts here).
Amitis Motevalli is an Iranian American mixed-media artist, activist
and educator who just returned from a trip to Iran. She will offer her
eyewitness report. Mark LeVine has frequently traveled to Iran in his
work with Iranian musicians, and blogs on the situation in Iran for
the Huffington Post.
Salon on Iran, Wednesday, July 1, 2009, 7:30-9:30 pm. Free to the
public, donations welcome. Refreshments available. Seating limited,
RSVPs strongly advised, to 310.657.5511. Levantine Cultural
Center/Inside Outside Gallery, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA
90035 (one block east of Crescent Heights, ample street parking).
More info, speaker bios.
Spotlight on Iran
Levantine Review this week features several stories related to Iran,
and a poem for Neda Agha Soltan, the 27-year-old student who was
felled by a bullet in Tehran:
Iran vs. Iran, a Public Conversation:
Log in and post your own perspective on the elections, protest and
subsequent government actions in Iran.
Poem for Neda Agha Soltan, Murdered in Tehran
Three Ways to Support the Pro-Democracy Protesters in Iran
Maz Jobrani Blogs on Protests in Iran
Exiled Iranian Writers Launch Appeal for Human Rights
Blog Posts From Iran's Metal and Hip Hop Artists
Necar Zadegan on Shirin Neshat
Iran's Old and New Guard Clash Over Elections
inside/outside & other oxymorons
See what the global diaspora looks like in the work of three hybrid
artists from the Middle East, Africa and the United States...Sama
Alshaibi, Vahé Berberian and Adnan Charara. Inside/Outside Gallery
open M-F, 10 am to 6 pm, and by appointment on weekends. Info:
Levantine Center Offers Kiyana Workshop, Mystical Persian Dance, July 19, 1-4 pm
Special guest instructor Javad Tehranian, who is touring the United
States this summer, will be teaching the Persian form of whirling or
Sufi dance known as Kiyana. Wear comfortable clothes and prepare for a
three-hour intense dance and exercise workshop. Javad Tehranian
teaches vital exercises, infinity respiration, eye exercises, and body
discipline, as well as symmetric and asymmetric movements by the
method of divided attention, inner development, rhythmical
contemplative movements, and the enchanting, euphoric Sama'a dance.
Takes place in the Mimoda Dance Studios on Pico, just east of
Levantine Center. Workshop fee, $40 in advance, $45 at the door.
More info, reservations.
I hope that this message finds you well.
This Thursday at Loyola Marymount University from 6-9pm there will be a Teach-In about the current situation in Iran. I'd love it if you came, there will be some awesome speakers who really understand the situation. One of my guests was in Iran for the election and others were there during the last revolution. Another speaker was jailed at the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran for his activism during a trip there a couple years ago. This is a very exciting group of extremely informed and compassionate people.
This is not a protest, rather a discussion in an open forum where the audience can engage with experts to better figure out what's happening in this complex situation. This is no longer about an election or even just Iran for that matter, we are really talking about basic human rights and dignity.
Hope to see you Thursday, the details are on the attached flyer, or feel free to contact me with your questions. Please circulate this invitation widely. Thank you so much. Be good and do well, till later...
Ali M. Meghdadi
You'll see that I've attached both a plain text version of the information flyer as well as one with an image, this way the details are clearly legible if the image gets in the way.