Ballet Afsaneh Art & Culture Society is a non-profit cultural organization
dedicated to promoting the dance, music and poetry of the historic Silk
Road regions of Central Asia. Since its founding in 1986, BAACS, under
the direction of Ms. Sharlyn Sawyer, has implemented its mission
through performances, on-going workshops, youth programs, touring
engagements, lecture demonstrations, community outreach, and creative
partnership programs with renowned artists and performing companies.
The core of BAACS consists of a fifteen-member collaborative group of
artists, joined by up to twenty five auxillery performers.
Aliah Lynn Najmabadi
holds a BA in World Art & Cultures and Iranian Studies from UCLA.
Her academic and artistic career focus is the preservation of the
performing arts of Central Asia, Iran and the Diaspora. She has been a
principal dancer with Ballet Afsaneh since the spring of 1998. Her
dance studies have included Persian, Uzbek, Tajik, Azeri, Balinese,
Flamenco and Ballet.
joined Ballet Afsaneh in 1997. Trained at an early age as a jazz-tap
dancer she went on to study Bharatanatyam Indian, Kathak and Middle
Eastern dance. She was a member of the Middle Eastern dance company
"Aywah!" and has studied dance and music from Central Asia and the
Middle East including Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Uzbek, Tajik,
Azerbijani and Afghani Folk styles.
has a background in dance, gymnastics and Capoeira and has studied
numerous ethnic dance forms including Flamenco, West-African,
Afro-Cuban, Afro-Haitian, Hawaiian, Tahitian, modern and several folk
dance styles. Of the many styles that she has studied, her primary
focus has been the dances of the Middle East, the Silk Road, and the
Roma “Gypsy” trail.
joined Ballet Afsaneh in 2000, her dance and vocal music training
include traditional Afghan, Arabic, Turkish, North African, and
Flamenco. She currently performs as a principal dancer and soloist with
the company. She teaches Central Asian dance classes for the BAACS
community outreach and education programs of the Bay Area and has been
selected take part in the summer 2006 Tajikistan residency program.