Dancing on the Roof of Heaven: A Spring Tribute by Sashar Zarif

Live Performance

Dancing on the Roof of Heaven: A Spring Tribute by Sashar Zarif

Saturday, March 23, 2024, 8 pm
Sunday, March 24, 2024, 5 pm (FREE Artist Talk | 3:30 pm)
Price: $40 Regular | $36 Friends | $30 Students and Seniors
A limited number of rush tickets will be available on the day of the performance.
Tickets include same-day Museum admission.

Enter the enchanting world of Dancing on the Roof of Heaven, a celebration of Nowruz (spring equinox), which blends ancient traditions and the languages of contemporary dance art. In this world-premiere performance, choreographer, educator, and researcher Sashar Zarif explores the mysteries of the four elements intertwined with the tapestry of human existence — mind, emotion, body, and soul.


Drawing inspiration from the Sufi and pre-Islamic Shamanic rituals of Muslim societies, Zarif presents his vision in the style of Mugham, weaving together dance, music, and storytelling. This performance is rooted in an ancient fourfold elemental ritual observed on the last four Wednesdays of winter and features Zarif alongside a diverse, multigenerational cast spanning six decades.


Dancing on the Roof of Heaven will premiere a film directed by renowned filmmaker Imran Babur, featuring archival footage that celebrates the illustrious career of Sashar Zarif, spanning three decades in the world of dance.


Saturday, March 23 
8 pm | Ticketed Performance (60 mins)
9 pm | Meet and Greet 


Sunday, March 24 
3:30 pm | Free Artist Talk (45 mins)
5 pm | Ticketed Performance (60 mins)
6 pm |  Meet and Greet


Dancing on the Roof of Heaven features:

Dance artists:
Sashar Zarif
Tom Brouillette
Sylvie Bouchard
Kathia Wittenborn
Sully Malaed Proulx
Music Master: Kazim Boran
Creative Facilitator: Katherine Duncanson
Lighting Designer: Gabriel Cropley


About Sashar Zarif

Known for creating award-winning, multidisciplinary dance projects, Sashar Zarif is an internationally renowned performing artist, educator, and researcher. His work is steeped in the artistry and history of traditional, ritualistic, and contemporary dance and music of the Central Asian, Middle Eastern and North African regions, focusing on the Sufi and Shamanic practices within Muslim societies and beyond. Zarif and his dance theatre have toured across 40 countries, promoting cultural dialogue through intensive fieldwork, residencies, performances, and creative collaborations.


The Museum’s Performing Arts programming is generously supported by the Nanji Family Foundation.


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Supported by

With the participation of the Government of Canada


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