Adult Programs | Heritage Days

Iranian Heritage Day

Iranian Heritage Day Dance Performances

Join us for the 3rd annual Iranian Heritage Day!

Enjoy an afternoon of Iranian cultural celebration with live music and dance performances, shopping, dining and more!

Included with Museum admission.

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Program: Sunday, May 26

Level 3, European Rotunda
1 pm to 3:30 pm

Live music and dance performances:

1:00 pm  - Baarbad Quintet
1:20 pm  - Longing for Freedom by Iana
1:40 pm  - Naghali by Kooch Group
3:00 pm  - Baarbad Trio
3:20 pm - Longing for Freedom by I
Iana Komarnytska

Level 1, Classrooms 5
2 pm to 2:30 pm

Join us for an interactive Persial music and dance workshop for kids!

Level 1, Chen Court
1 pm to 4 pm

Test your knowledge of Iran with a scavenger hunt of our Wirth Gallery of the Middle East. The first 50 visitors to complete the hunt win a prize!

Level B1, Food Studio
11 am to 4:30 pm

Iranian themed specials in Food Studio.

Level 1, ROM Museum Store
10 am to 6:30 pm

Iranian themed items for sale in ROM Museum Store.

Premiere Performance!

Longing for Freedom

Music by Mehdi Rezania
Dance by Iana Komarnytska

A bird finds herself in a cage.  In panic she tries to fly away, but she cannot.  She flies faster and faster to no avail until she is tired and alights. Her heart is pounding and one can hear her heartbeat.  While resting, she ponders her situation and realizes that the only way out is to break the cage. Resolutely, she attempts to break the cage by crashing into it with her body. She does it again and again, more rapidly each time. When she is about to give up, the cage breaks open and she flies away, singing happily.

Iana Komarnytska has employed and fused the elements of Iranian classical with those of western contermporary in her choreograhpy to convey the story.

Naghali by Kooch Group

Naghali is the traditional art of narrating epic and love stories from the Iranian fables and myths. Most of these stories have come from the old books like Shanameh e Ferdowsi (10th century A.D). A Naghal (the storyteller) tries to impress the audience by taking the roles of his story’s characters, using different voice tones and emotional plays.

The Arash play is based on the second part of the book of Bahram Beizaei ('Se Bar Khani') that is currently being rehearsed by Kooch Theater group in Montreal.The story is based on one of Ancient Iran’s mythical characters named Arash the archer with the unique narration of Bahram Beizaei. The four actresses play the roles of Iranian champions and tell the story accompanied by music and singing. The production is one of traditional Iranian performance techniques (Naqqali) and is performed with traditional music on stage.


Director   Nikta Sabouri
Actress and vocalist   Fatemeh Dehghani and Amineh Sharifi
Musician and director   Alborz Moharer Khansari

Photographer and graphic designer  Neda Yavari
Musician   Armin Lotfalian
make-up artist   Ayda Najafi

Program: Saturday, May 25

Face painting Level 1, Queens Park Rotunda
11 am to 4 pm

Iranian themed hands-on crafts and activities for kids. Have fun with face painting and take home crafts!

Iranian Heritage Day 2012 dance performance
Level 1, Currelly Gallery
11 am to 1 pm

Live music and dance featuring performances by:

  • Arya Saaber
  • Beeta Jafari
  • Circle Band
  • Gisoo Dance Group
  • Iana Komarnytska and Medhi Rezania
  • Kamanche
  • Kamand
  • Mayn-zard
  • Neemeha
  • Odlar Dance Group

Leve 2, Bronfman Hall
10 am to 4 pm

The Canadian premier of Riders on the Stone by Siamak Eskandari.

The tradition of carving bas-reliefs on rocks in Iran began in Middle Elamite period (second millennium B.C.) and had been continued by the next dynasties including Mede, Achaemenid, Parthia and Sassanid. Sassanians were the last pre-Islamic dynasty who ruled the Persian Empire for more than 4 centuries (224 A.D. to 651 A.D.) and their legacy played a key role in formation of art and architecture of Iran in Islamic periods.

The exhibition focuses on the historic background and aesthetic aspects of Sassinid Empire's art of rock reliefs. Siamak Esandari spent 10 years (1999 to 2009) and took thousands of black and white photos with his analog cameras of all 38 Sasanid's rock reliefs scattered around Iran. The photos are selected from 500 hand-printed photographs.

CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION             Painting by Farzaneh Nazerian
Leve 2, Bronfman Hall
10 am to 4 pm

Featuring the works of:

  • Alijan Alijanpour
  • Farzaneh Nazerian
  • Lida Lajevardi
  • Mahmoud Farshchian
  • Mohammad Sarrafzadeh
  • Niloufar Sharifi
  • Yalda Bakhtiari

Leve B1, Eaton Theatre
2 pm

Join us for a special presentation entitled “Riders on the Stone/ Sassanid Period’s Bas-reliefs on Rocks” by Siamak Eskandari.

Leve B1, Eaton Theatre
3:15 pm to 5 pm

Live music and dance including performances by:

  • Baarbad Ensemble
  • Beeta Jafari
  • Folklore Music
  • Gisso Dance Group
  • Ghazelah Dance Group
  • Golbarg Dance Group
  • Iana Komarnytska and Medhi Rezania
  • Maneli Jamal

Level 1, Classrooms 2 & 5
2:10 pm to 4:10 pm

Join us for interactive Iranian music and dance workshops!

Classroom 5
2:10 pm - Dance (Iranian-Kurdish)

3:10 pm - Music, Santur
3:45 pm - Music, Percussion (tonbak & daf)

Classroom 2
3:30 pm - Persian Songs for Kids

Level B1, Food Studio
11 am to 4:30 pm

Iranian themed specials in Food Studio

Level 1, ROM Museum Store
10 am to 6:30 pm

Iranian themed items for sale in ROM Museum Store

Premiere Performance!

Flight of Poupak

Music by Baarbad Ensemble
Dance by Beeta Jafari
The Flight of Poupak is a collaborative work of live music and dance that displays a journey of one's evolution. Some of the music of Iran's great composer Faramarz Payvar have been rearranged for two santurs by Mehdi Rezania and Amin Reyhani. This story unfolds in three segments in which the styles of music and dance change.
The journey begins in a state of struggle, pain and confusion, yet hope is also present. Hence the journeyer moves into a introspective and meditative state revealed in a drum duet by Bamdad Fotuhi and Alinima Madani. This inner exploration leads to fruits of deeper insights, and expansion of understanding. Thus a new self is born from this higher level of consciousness. Consequently joy outpours, and the piece ends displaying this with vigor and fervor. Beeta Jafari has used the movements of flying birds as inspiration for some of the choreography of this piece, as well as movements from various dances of Iran.

Iranian Heritage Day Supporters



Royal Ontario Museum

Bloor Street (main entrance)