Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nowruz Spring Celebration 2013

With performances by Zohra, Julie Atlas Muz and Tigger!

            Let’s Celebrate SPRING, the Persian New Year!

سال نو مبارک

Nowrūz (meaning "[The] New Day") is the name of the Iranian/Persian New Year in Iranian calendars and the corresponding traditional celebrations. Nowruz is also widely referred to as the "Persian New Year". Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals. Originally being a Zoroastrian festival, and the holiest of them all, Nowruz is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster himself, although there is no clear date of origin. Since the Achaemenid era the official year has begun with the New Day when the Sun leaves the zodiac of Pisces and enters the zodiacal sign of Aries, signifying the Spring Equinox. 

The UN's General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Nowruz, describing it a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3,000 years. During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations, held between 28 September – 2 October 2009 in Abu Dhabi, Nowrūz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Haft Sîn or the seven 'S's is a major traditional table setting of Nowruz, the traditional Iranian spring celebration. The haft sin table includes seven items starting with the letter 'S' or Sīn (س) in the Persian alphabet. Another set of items, the Haft-Chin items, are also included:

The “Haft Sin” items are:

  • Sabzeh - (Persian: سبزه‎)-wheat, barley, mung bean or lentil sprouts growing in a dish - symbolizing rebirth
  • Samanu - (Persian: سمنو‎)-sweet pudding made from wheat germ - symbolizing affluence
  • Senjed - (Persian: سنجد‎)-dried oleaster Wild Olive fruit - symbolizing love
  • Sir - (Persian: سیر‎)- garlic - symbolizing medicine
  • Sib - (Persian: سیب‎)- apples - symbolizing beauty and health
  • Somāq - (Persian: سماق‎)sumac fruit - symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  • Serkeh - (Persian: سرکه‎) - vinegar - symbolizing old-age and patience

The "Haft Chin" items are:

  • Mirror – symbolizing Sky
  • Apple – symbolizing Earth
  • Candles – symbolizing Fire
  • Golab – rose water symbolizing Water
  • Sabzeh – wheat, or barley sprouts symbolizing Plants
  • Goldfish – symbolizing Animals
  • Painted Eggs – symbolizing Humans and Fertility
As part of our celebration of the Persian New Year and Spring tonight, we have the pleasure of sharing the work of the following performers.


Zohra was born in North Africa, but grew up in France. As a child she was exposed to the ancient styles and traditions of Oriental Dance.

When Zohra lived and studied in Paris she performed in clubs and cabarets. It wasn't until she moved to New York in 2002 that she started teaching the Art of Belly Dancing.Besides her private coaching and group classes, she has taught throughout Manhattan at Club Equinox, Monterey Sports Club and True Control Fitness. She is currently perfoming at private events and restaurants.

Julie Atlas Muz hails from the Murder Capital of the World — Detroit, Michigan — and has become one of the most acclaimed and prolific conceptual performers and choreographers anywhere. Along the way, she picked up the titles “Miss Exotic World,” “Miss Coney Island 2006,” and was named one of Time Out's most fashionable New Yorkers.

She sucker-punches the boundaries between performance art, dance & burlesque with dark, twisted, come-hither performances that have secured her a vaunted place in opposite realms — New York’s nightclub underworld and its haute establishment art world.  Muz was named 2005 Valencia Biennial Artist, 2004 Whitney Biennial Artist, and Artist-in-Residence by Chashama (2002), Joyce Soho (2001), Mondo Conne/Dixon Place (2000) and Movement Research (1998-99).

TIGGER! (James Tigger! Ferguson) - Known as "The Original King of Boylesque" & "The Godfather of Neo-Boylesque." He is a Stripperformance Artist/Actor/Dancer who has performed in New York & abroad since 1988.

Won several Golden Pastie Awards, including "Most Likely to Get Shut Down by the Law" & "Most Unpredictable Performer." He has performed in: Australia, Italy, Portugal, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Cyprus, U.K., Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Canada & all around the U.S.