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Grandmother’s Drum

October 1 – 1, 2021
Photo by Marvan Kwan

Show Credits

Sound Design: Sashar Zarif
Composition and Arrangements: Sashar Zarif
Costume Design: Sashar Zarif
Creative Facilitator: Katherine Duncanson

About the Show

Grandmother’s Drum
Choreographed and performed by Sashar Zarif


Grandmother’s Drum by Sashar Zarif, is a ritual of sound and movement that explores the concept of ownership versus stewardship of home as it is practiced in nomadic culture.

The work is in the contemporary style of Maugham, informed by the Sufi and Shamanic transformation ritual from Central and Western Asia, and is related to Islamic Cultures. The influences are rooted in the artist’s nomadic ancestry.

“I spent my early formative years by my 94-year-old grandmother and her ever present hand drum, ‘the door to the spirit world’ as she called it. My grandmother taught me about life through stories accompanied by dances and songs. The ritual was about the body and breath, earthing and airing. It was about being the story and as she would say ‘we are the story, and our job is not to tell our story, our mission in this life is to be the story my son.’

This solo is inspired by the responsibility I feel to bring these stories together, merge them with the world we live in now, and share with others the transformations I have experienced.”

Back to Night/Shift 2021