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Sashar Zarif

Sashar Zarif brings to the CM his clear perception of the interdependence of intention-spirit-craft in dance-making and performance. Creator, performer, researcher, teacher, Sashar investigates expressions of identity, memory and globalization, and convergences of creative and cultural perspectives in academic, professional and community environments. His personal practice is steeped in the artistry and history of traditional, contemporary and ritual dance and music of the Near Eastern and Central Asian regions and Islamic communities, through inheritance and over 20 years of dedicated fieldwork.

He is an honorary Master of Dance and Honorary Faculty Member at Uzbekistan State Institute of Choreography in Tashkent for his contribution to dance in Uzbekistan and a research associate at York University’s Centre for Asian Studies.

Sashar’s work is continuously recognized by commissions and appointments in over 35 countries, and honours worldwide including, in Canada, Chalmers/OAC fellowships 2010, 2015, Skills for Change New Pioneer Award for the Arts 2008, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012. In 2017 Zarif contributed a chapter (Carrying My Grandmother's Drum: Dancing the Home Within) to Performing Exile (ed. Judith Rudakoff, publisher Intellect & Chicago Press) that was nominated for the Canadian Association for Theatre Re- searchers Richard Plant Award.


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