Neema Hekmat (San Mateo) collaborating with Afsaneh Art & Culture Society – Ballet Afsaneh (Marin)
Award: $40,000 Traditional Arts Grant awarded in 2015
Premiering: July 2017
Composer Neema Hekmat, along with other musicians and the creative team at Ballet Afsaneh, will collaborate to create The Persepolis Project, an original performance work drawn from ancient Persian earth-centered humanistic beliefs and philosophies. The project features members of the Persian Diaspora community and explores ancient beliefs of shared Persian and Eurasian heritage. Original music will feature traditional Persian instruments. Much of the music will derive from the shape and rhythm of a poetic verse form that was practiced during the early Zoroastrian period.
Principal project artists include composer-musicians Neema Hekmat, Amir Abbas Etemadzadeh, and Moses Sedler; choreographer-dancers Sarlyn Sawyer, Aisan Hosseinzadeh, and members of Ballet Afsaneh; and designers Sharlyn Sawyer, Patty Anne Farrell, and Jean Fredrickson. Neema Hekmat is recognized in the Persian Iranian community as one of the most influential young leaders engaged in cultural preservation and revitalization of traditional music in the Bay Area. He is a prolific, innovative composer with deep knowledge and a passion for Persian history, art, and poetry.
Founded in 1986 as a professional performance ensemble, Ballet Afsaneh Art & Culture Society creates cultural and educational projects that intend to strengthen bonds among the Central Asian immigrant community, promote the inter-generational transfer of cultural assets, and engage participation of Iranian and Afghan-American communities, the South Asian community, and the general population.