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  • Festival of the Silk Road 2014

Festival Program 2014

Garden Activities 1 - 6pm Evening Concert 6 - 8pm
Afternoon Concert 3 - 4:30pm


Activities 1-6pm

Garden Fun Activities and Folkdancing - Free Admission:

  • Traditional costume exhibit, storytelling, International Food Court and the ever popular Silk Road Bazaar offering traditional clothing, art, and handicrafts in the beautiful gardens, plaza, and theater lobby.
  • Afternoon folk dancing with live Balkan dance music with Edessa, special Azerbaijani dance presentation, and dancing for everyone with the Folkdance Federation of California.
  • Enjoy a picnic with friends and family under the palm trees surrounded by roses! Bring your own family picnic, or enjoy a reasonably priced delicious Mediterranean meal and Persian foods until 6pm courtesy of Golnazar Gourmet Catering, Layla's Bistro, Cafe Gyros and other food vendors. Halal and vegetarian menu choices available.
  • Special Armenian concert and workshop with Hasmik Harutyunyan open to all in the Garden Pavilion.
  • In the upstairs lobby of the theater: Special Persian percussion workshop with Pezhham Akhavass, Lecture Demo of Azerbaijani Mugham Music with Jeffrey Werbock.

Silk Road Traditional Costume Exhibit - All Day & Evening

Theater lobby all day. View ethnic costumes of the Silk Road. Open all day and evening in the theater lobby, free to all.

Folk Dance Workshop

Folk Dance Federation of California

Pavilion 1 - 2pm Prepare to dance with Edessa Music Ensemble by learning some Balkan and Near Eastern folk dances in this workshop and amaze your friends when the band starts to play! Open to all and free.


Persian Drumming Workshop

Pezhham Akhavass

Upstairs theater lobby 1:30 - 2:30pm Learn fundamentals of playing the Persian daf with a master of percussion. all levels welcome, beginner to advanced. Daf's can be provided, or bring your own. Pre-register with workshop fee.


Azerbaijani Dance Presentation & Mini-Workshop

Chichaklar Azeri Dance Group

Pavilion 2 - 2:20pm Enjoy a special dance presentation and learn an Azerbaijani folkdance with festival artists, Chichaklar Dance group from Vancouver, Canada.


Armenian Traditional Dance Workshop and Concert

Hasmik Harutyunyan and Eliyahu Sills

Pavilion 2:30 - 3:45pm Armenian traditional village dance workshop and concert with Hasmik Harutunyan. Eliyahu Sills will be accompanying Hasmik on the ney. A journey to the very heart of Armenia. Open to all and free!


Eliyahu Sills will be accompanying Hasmik on the ney for the Festival.

Folk Dances of the Silk Road and Beyond

Edessa Music Ensemble

Pavilion 3:45 - 5:30pm Join us dancing to Edessa Music Ensemble and guests as they rock the crowd with Balkan and Near Eastern dance favorites in the garden. Open to all and free.

Mugham Music of Azerbaijan - Lecture & Demonstration

Jeffrey Werbock

Upstairs theater lobby 4:00 - 5:30pm Learn about the ancient traditional Mugham musical system and instruments of Azerbaijan in this engaging free demonstration and lecture. Open to all and free.

Afternoon Concert: 3 - 4:30pm

Daf and Music Ensemble

Amir School of Music

Neibeki (Saucer) Dance

Chichaklar Dance Group

Choreography by Shalaleh Rismani and Asal Ahadi

Sunrise in Spring - Nowruz

Niosha Dance

Celebrating both the traditional and modern festive dances and music of Iran. Choreography by Melieka Fathi and Niosha Nafei-Jamali. Music: Mastan Ensamble, Nasser Cheshmazar, Bijan Mortazavi, Rastak

Me-e-Raj Darvishan (Ascension of the Dervishes)

Miriam Peretz Student Ensemble

Mystical/Contemporary Persian Dance. Choreography by Mirian Peretz. Music: "Ney Nava" Houssein Alizadeh

Alexandrian Melaya Dance

Hala Dance

The "Melaya" (black sheet) is traditionally used like a coat by working class women in Egypt. Alexandrian women have a reputation of being daring and flirtatious. Typically depicted on stage as using the Melaya for flirting instead of modesty. The song advocates going with the flow and accepting life for what it is without stress or resistance. Choreography by Hala Fauzi.

Traditional Dances of Armenia

ARAX Dance

Yes Siretsi (I Loved)
Music: Khachatur Avetisyan

Katak Par (Joke Dance)
Music: Traditional Armenian Melody

Choreography by Noemi Araxi.

Turns (Robabi)

Afsaneh Dance Academy

Movement Meditation piece interweaving Sufi whirling and the Uzbek/Tajik Shashmaqam style. Choreography by Kristen Sague. Music: "Robabi" by Tahmoures Pournazeri, Keykhosrow Pournazri, Bijan Kamkar

Yasha Dance

Chichaklar Dance Group

Moves of the Qaytaq and Lezgian Tribes. Choreography by Asal Ahadi, Shalaleh Rismani, Samineh Afrough.

Egyptian Cane Dance

Hala Dance

Canes are useful tools in Egypt's agrarian communities. They are used for reaching fruit on trees, walking on uneven terrains, self defense and more. At the end of the day, when people gather to relax and celebrate, they incorporate the canes in their dances. The song is a wedding song by Hamada Helal. Choreography by Hala Fauzi.


Tarangini School of Kathak Dance

North Indian classical dance and music. Choreography by Anuradha Nag. Music: Pandit Birju Maharaj


Afsaneh Dance Academy

Persian lyrical dances in the "Afsaneh" style. Choreography by Sharlyn Sawyer. Music: "Shirin" Azam Ali, "Reng Dashti" Amir Shahsar

Daf Ensemble

Pezhham Akhavass

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Evening Concert: 6 - 8pm

Mode of Shur-Dashti

Pezhham Akhavass and Mehdi Bagheri

Persian classical music. Pezhham Akhavass - tombak, Mehdi Bagheri - kamanche

Gisher Tsereg (Day and Night)

ARAX Dance

Contemporary Armenian Dance. In this piece, the sun and moon are personified. The dancers embody the glory of day and mystery of night. Choreography by Noemi Araxi. Music: "Hayots Hovik" composed by Khachatur Avetisyan.

Persian Classical Music

Mohammad Nejad and Siamak Pouian

Mohammad Nejad - ney, Siamak Pouian - tombak

Tamam Ashkhar Bdoud Ega (I Traveled the Entire World)

ARAX Dance

Contemporary Armenian Dance. The 18th-century poet, Sayat Nova, reminisces about Princess Anna and expresses his love for only her. Choreography by Noemi Araxi. Music composed by Sayat Nova, sung by Eva Rivas.


Chinese Performing Arts of America

Classical Chinese Dance fused with Martial Arts. New composition depicting the power of the element of wind. Dance choreography by Allie Dong. Martial arts choreography by Li Yong Zhang.

Special Presentation

Honorees Mohammad Nejad and Bita Ghaffari

Nejad World Music Center for their dedication and contributions to the music community.


Fifteen Minutes ~ Tea and light refreshments available in the lobby.

Range Eshgh (Color of Love)

Zaryab Persian Music Ensemble

Overture in the mode of Esfahan. Original composition by Neema Hekmat, especially written for and dedicated to the Festival of the Silk Road. Ensemble Director: Neema Hekmat. Musicians: Neema Hekmat - santur, Amir Abbas Etimadzadeh - tonbak, daf, Aydin Kiasat - kamanche, Emilie Coleman Mehdavian - vocalist. Solo Dancer: Miriam Peretz.

Goddess Anahita/Climate Change

Ballet Afsaneh

World Premiere - Modern and Persian Classical Dance. Conceived and created by Sharlyn Sawyer. Collaborating choreographer for the part of Anahita: Kristen Sague Soundscape Music: "Indigenes" - Armand Amar, "Summoning the Muse", "The Host of Seraphim", "The Garden of Zephirus" - Dead Can Dance, "Satara’s Solo" Ayay E Del, "Payam-e Baran/Message of Rain" Salar Aghili. and Hamid Motebassem with Dastan Ensemble.

Afghan Classical Music

Salar System Trio Featuring the Sounds and Rhythms of Afghanistan and Ballet Afsaneh

Traditional Afghan Classical and Mahali Music with dance by Ballet Afsaneh
Salar Nader - tabla and dahol, Qais Essar - rabab, Ajmal Subat - vocals and harmonium.

Tabla Overture
Rubab and Tabla Duet - Sawal Jawab, Qataghani Medley, arranged by Salar Nader and Ajmal Subat, Composers: Ustad Taranaz and Ahmad Wali Solo dance: Mariam Gaibova.

Attan, the National Dance of Afghanistan with dance by Ballet Afsaneh
Musical Arrangement: Salar System Trio Dance Arrrangement: Sharlyn Sawyer, Mariam Gaibova, Lisa Tilton

We dedicate our performance here tonight to the great Ustad Amani.

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