The Iranian Experience
To preserve pre-revolution culture and dance research for future generations
BBC World Service dispatched a team to Sarasota to film Robert de Warren in observance of the 50th Anniversary of the inauguration of Tehran's Opera House Roudaki Hall, in which Robert had been closely involved. A A BBC video with with HIM Farah Pahlavi of Iran) is presently on YouTube.
By way of introduction, early in Robert's career as a principal dancer, he was forced to stop dancing due to a physical impairment. Dame Ninette de Valois, leader and founder of the Royal Ballet where Robert had spent his formative years, sent him to Tehran at the invitation of the Shah, to bring the National Ballet of Iran up to international standards. A three-year contract became an eleven-year sojourn, as Robert encountered a culture striving for modernity and his life and outlook on dance changed forever.
A three-session lecture on this experience has had great success at ACE - Suncoast Technical College, Eastern Arts - Salt Lake City, Iranian Performing Arts at San Francisco Ballet's Headquarters and Cambridge Mas. It is now available for future events.
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Preserving the Cultural Treasures of Iran (Persia)
Robert de Warren's eleven year experience (1965-1978) prior to the Islamic Revolution accumulated a plethora of unique artisitic, cultural, mystical and ethnic documentation gathered through numerous research expeditions. This collection became the cornerstone of the foundation on which The Iran National Folklore Institute was based. After 1979, most cultural heritage institutions in Iran were closed, as the new order sought to purge expressions not fitting within their particular interpretation of strict Islamic law. Iran had beens a progressive nation making significant contributions to 20th Century development, it regressed to almost medioeval conditions to its present position. Yet there is a young generation striving to be recognized.
The Persian diaspora worldwide is sensitive to their ancestral heritage and is eager to celebrate their origins and traditions thus insuring that future generation can be an active part of coninued learning and appreciation for its ageless culture.
The Iran National Folklore Institue - Achievements
The Mahalli Dancers of Iran
The Iranian National Ballet - Gallery