Jaberi Dance Theatre | Artistic Director
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Artistic Director

Roshanak

Roshanak Jaberi

performer | choreographer | producer

 

Roshanak is an Iranian-Canadian artist and activist based in Toronto. She bridges Western and Afri-centric dance aesthetics with theatre to create work that is intimate, thought provoking and emotionally engaging. The stories and lived experiences of diverse women motivate her artistic inquiry, as do her travels, collaborations and personal curiousities. Roshanak is interested in re-envisioning traditional forms, merging multiple disciplines and experimenting with different avenues to creation. Her work is grounded in a research informed artistic practice that reflects her commitment to ethically and authentically share the stories, experiences and cultures she draws inspiration from.

Biography

Roshanak is a graduate of York University, with an honours degree in music. She currently sits on the Toronto Arts Council Dance Committee, is on the board of directors of the Dance Umbrella of Ontario (DUO) and is the Associate Producer of the award-winning company Expect Theatre. Roshanak has served as a juror with the Toronto Arts Council and the Canadian Dora Awards, has been a member of the Canadian Dance Assembly Pluralism Committee, and a guest lecturer in the Historical and Cultural Studies program at the University of Toronto. In 2013, she was shortlisted as a top three finalist for the Soulpepper Theatre Dance Awards in her category. Her choreographic work has been supported by all three arts councils, and has been presented in Canada, US, and Europe.

 

Since 2010, she has been an artist with the project Political Prisoners: The Art of Resistance organized by Dr. Shahrzad Mojab, professor and activist at the University of Toronto. She has moderated at the Feminist Art Conference (FAC) and has been an invited panelist for: The Dance Debates-Choreographing Our Future by the Toronto Arts Council, the annual on the MOVE Dance Conference, Engaging Arts to Represent Violence Against Women-A Conversation About Ethics at the University of Toronto, and International Women’s Day in Washington DC organized by the Iranian Alliance for Peace, Freedom and Social Justice.

 

Roshanak has had the privilege of training with celebrated dancers, musicians and theatre artists in Canada and abroad, including: Vincent Mantsoe, Karen Kaeja and Allen Kaeja (Kaeja d’Dance), Debbie Wilson, Arsenio Andrade, Soheil Parsa (Modern Times Theatre), Miguel Rubio (Yuyachkani), Amara Kanté, Bakari Lindsay and Charmaine Headley (COBA – Collective of Black Artists), Sarita Leyva (Ire-Omo), Mohamed Diaby, Griot M’Ba Coulibaly, Ousmane N’Diaye (Jant-bi), Mohamed Cisse and Marie Bangoura (Les Ballets Africans), Eleo Pomare and faculty from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre.

 

She has been commissioned by Sylvie Bouchard for Dusk Dances and has performed and contributed choreography to videos for BRAVO and MUCH MUSIC; as well as for stage at  events such as Amnesty International’s Dance for Justice, Dance Immersion Presentation, Dance Ontario Dance Weekend, Ontario Contact and Harbourfront Centre’s annual festivals. She was Co-Artistic Director of Aya Dance Collective from 2007-2011, creating and presenting original dance works across the city.

 

As a community arts practitioner, Roshanak has facilitated workshops for children and youth through organizations such as Aluna Theatre, Youth Without Shelter, Arts Etobicoke, Art Starts and most recently for AFCY’s Arts for Social Justice Program. She’s also spearheaded various initiatives such as Beats Not Bullets event in partnership with the Coalition for Gun Control, and has programmed for the urbanNOISE festival, bringing top Canadian artists such as Juno winners Divine Brown and Dora winner d’bi young to the stage.

 

Roshanak is former co-host of Toronto’s Evi-Dance Radio, and is a member of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists (CADA), Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA) and Dance Ontario.