Dienstag 30.11.2021 18:00 — 19:30
Online Event

Science-Dance Dialogues

Shahrzad Khorsandi (Photo © Carl Sermon and Ma'Shuqa Photography)

Shahrzad Khorsandi (Photo © Carl Sermon and Ma'Shuqa Photograph)y

Science-Dance Dialogues: Persian Dance Meets Empirical Aesthetics

Online Event presented by Julia F. Christensen and Shahrzad Khorsandi.

Persian dance integrates the whole body through movement. Flow is created through gentle oscillations of the spine, graceful gestures of the arms and hands, and grounded footwork. Hip movements are soft, and in general the dance form gives an expression of joy, often flavored by female dancers with “naaz”, a subtle, feminine coy attitude.

The movement and positioning of the body in Persian dance reflect the rich and refined aesthetics of Persian culture, and thus offer great potential not only for exploring an aesthetic language of form in the medium of dance but also for (inter)cultural learning.


Now, choreographer Shahrzad Khorsandi and scientist Julia F. Christensen host an evening devoted to the aesthetic language of Persian dance. In addition to presenting dance as an expression of cultural and social identities, they will share some first insights into their unique international research project, which investigates Persian Dance with methods from empirical aesthetics.

You do not need to be a dancer or scientist to attend – or enjoy – this event. Everyone is welcome!


6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

  • Introduction: Julia F. Christensen
  • Shahrzad Khorsandi: Persian miniatures as inspiration for practitioners of Persian dance
  • Interactive session
  • Performance by Shahrzad Khorsandi in the style inspired by Persian miniature paintings
  • Julia F. Christensen: The Persian Dance Movement Library
  • Shahrzad Khorsandi: Iranian aesthetics seen in visual arts & its reflection in musical structures
  • Interactive session 2
  • Live performance by Shahrzad Khorsandi & group of dance students
  • Q & A

About the organizers:

Julia F. Christensen is an experimental psychologist, and former dancer. She studied neuroscience and psychology in Spain, France and England. She has won several grants and awards in her field of research. She now conducts research at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt/Germany. Her book "Dancing is the Best Medicine" has been published in English in 2021 ("Tanzen ist die beste Medizin", Reinbek: Rowohlt Verlag GmbH, 2018).

Shahrzad Khorsandi is a pioneer in Iranian/Persian dance and teaches and performs globally. Shahrzad is the choreographer and artistic director of Shahrzad Dance Company, a performing ensemble based in Berkeley, California. She is the author of the book, The Art of Persian Dance (2015), and is a member of an international research team from the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt/Germany, conducting interdisciplinary work with a team of scientists, dancers and filmmakers on the intersections between Persian/Iranian dance and empirical aesthetics.


We look forward to welcoming you at this event. If you have any questions, please contact Julia F. Christensen.

This event will be held in English. The online application is Zoom.

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