Artists at Risk (AR) would like to welcome Afghan dancers Zahra Mohammadi, Mozhda Amiri, aka Helen, and Fareba Qasimi to Centre National de la Danse in Pantin (CND). The three artists are currently AR-CND Residents in Paris, France. The residencies are organised in cooperation and with the support of the Fanak Fund, Paris, France.
In 2019, Zahra Mohammadi founded the Kabul-based Sama dance troupe Shohood-e-Arefan together with Fahima Mirzaie, from whom she learned the Sama dance, and another artist. The group was the first to perform the Sama dance in public in Afghanistan, where they held shows in several theatres and locations in Kabul. Their performances have received mass coverage from large mainstream media organisations in Afghanistan, such as BBC Dari, Voa Dari, and Tolo TV.
Mozhda Amiri, aka Helen, graduated from the Department of Dramatic Arts at Kabul University. Since her childhood, Helen has been fond of the traditional dances of her country. During her university studies, Helen visited northern villages on weekends to learn local dances from the women and join them in traditions and events. Despite the prohibition on women working in the cultural field, Helen created and organised cultural and artistic programmes for women and girls who had been deprived of art and dance in her home village of Mirbache Kot.
In 2016, Fareba Qasimi joined a group called Peace Warriors Crew with whom she performed dance routines in cultural programmes run by institutions. Among the fifteen to twenty boys who danced in the Peace Warriors Crew, Qasimi was the only girl. Later, Qasimi also began training other girls. Qasimi was the first b-girl in the hip-hop dance scene in Afghanistan and the country’s founder of hip-hop dance for women.
The Centre National de la Danse (CND) trains professional dancers, promotes and enhances amateur dance, assists in research, conserves and distributes choreographic heritage and supports the creation of choreographic works in all their diversity and in dialogue with other artistic fields.
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