Q: What does IDT do?|
A: We present and promote the dance and cultures of the Middle East and beyond - from Israel to Mongolia, from the Caucasus to India.
Q: So not at all showy nightclub dance?
A: We present an array of authentic folk and classical dances of Middle Eastern countries. We expend much effort in assuring that our dances are true to tradition and are acceptable by the ethnic communities from whose homelands the dances originate. Our material is mostly spiritually and metaphycially oriented with respect to the modesty and honor of family-oriented societies.
Eastern Arts home |
Upcoming Events | Recent Activities
| Past Events |
Contact | Links & Colleagues |
Eastern Arts |
Katherine St. John
Director, Choreographer, Musician, Dancer|
Katherine leads Eastern Arts and IDT, and brings a wealth of talent and experience in dance and music to the group. She holds a Master's degree in Persian from U of U, a Masters in Folkdance and Dance Pedagogy from BYU and completed course work tawords a PhD in dance theory at UC Riverside. She has taught folk and Eastern dance at UCR, BYU and U of U. She choreographed for Utah Opera, U of U Character Dance Ensemble and was a member of Ethnic Dance Theater of Minneapolis, Ethnic Dance Ensemble of Nevada and other groups. Her expertise is dance of countries once part of the ancient Persian empire. She plays various percussion instruments in the Eastern Arts music ensemble.
Dr. Miller, whose musical talent is exceeded only by his energy and charm, provides live music for IDT performances. He holds a Ph.D. in Persian with a dissertation on Persian music and song texts. During a 7 year residency in Iran starting with a Fulbright scholarship, Miller hosted his own prime-time TV show and was PR person for the Center for Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music. He studied Persian, Vietnamese and Indian music in Paris at the Centre d'etudes de musique orientale and Eastern languages at L'Ecole nationale des langues orientales vivantes. Miller plays santur, rebab, dutar, saz, duduk, zurna, doira and various other instruments from Eastern traditions. In addition to his role with IDT, he leads the Salt City Saints and SwingnJive & L.A. Blues and several other music ensembles. IDT main percussionist is Katherine St.John. Other local musicians who have performed with IDT include: percussionist George Grant, Kurdish musicians Kamal Bewar, Mamdu Zebar and Salar Qadari, BYU folk musician Secily Saunders and others.
Visiting master musicians who have come to Salt Lake to perform with Eastern Arts and IDT include Afghan master Izatullah Mujadeddi, Turkish master Latif Bolat, Uighur master Anwar Yusuf, Uzbek doira master Tolkin Isakov, Indian sarod master Ashish Khan, Persian kamananche master Morteza Varzi, the late Uzbek dance expert Tatiana Papova, Indian sitarist Brian Silver and several others. IDT sponsors the WorlDance Coalition including IDT, U of U Character Dance Ensemble, Dionysius Greek Dancers, and sometimes folkdancers from BYU.
Saren Gaowa, Leslie Palza, Melanie Hawkes, Nilufar Tabatabai,
A skilled dancer and vocalist in various traditions of China and Mongolia, Saren GaoWa was trained at the Shanghai Conservatory of Art and Music and toured internationally with this company for 17 years. She won first place in Chinese National Singing Competition, served as director of vocal music for the Association of Chinese Minority Nationalities and was distinguished member of Chinese Musicians Association and Beijing Society for National Literature and Art Studies.
Dancer, soloist & choreographer
Leslie Palza was awarded an MA in character dance from the U ofr U Ballet Department in 2003. She was a Tatiana Popova dance scholarship awardee for which she choreographed a difficult Tajik solo with a Tajik tyeapot trio. She was acting director of CDE in 2002-03 and was the group leader for the CDE UK tour in May of 2003. She has set various dances on CDE including Spanish and a Jota en pointe which was her MA project. A native of Argentina, Leslie is skilled in Flamenco and other Hispanic dance genres as well as Afghan, Tajik, Uzbek and other Eastern dance styles.
former Dancer now Eastern Arts representative in Oregon
Edie began tap dancing at the age of 7, then studied at Christensen Ballet Academy. At the University of Utah, she majored in modern dance, and has performed at Utah Arts Festival, U of U International Night and Middle East Night. She has also performed in the Bay Area, in Southern California and in Nevada. Her dance interests include Flamenco and African-based styles, as well as all lyrical dance styles. She is interested in music (piano and drums), writing, and independent filmmaking. Edie is also a successful health food broker.
Former Dancer, web technitian & consultant
Madelyn Boudreaux, a native of South Louisiana, began dancing with IDT in spring of '97. She enjoys performing solos and graceful dances that allow her to draw on her background in ballet and modern dance. She has danced since she was 6, and discovered folk dance in college when she studied Czech folk dancers for an independent research project. Madelyn combines her interest in dance with her academic pursuits, and has earned a B.A. in anthropology and an M.A. in folklore. Madelyn danced for a few years with IDT and was highly appreciated.
INTERNATIONAL DANCE THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHIES
Since the mid 1980s, Katherine St.John has developd choreographies for IDT and other dance companies such as BYU Folkdancers and U of U Character Dance Ensemble. A few of these and some collaborating dancers can be seen in the photos in the Links & Colleagues section.