Heather Rastovac in Berkeley

I had lunch with my remarkable American friend, Heather Rastovac in Berkeley today. I had written something short about Heather in June. She is a dance artist and a researcher of Iranian arts. She is currently a student at the University of Washington pursuing a double major in Near Eastern Language and Civilization (with a focus on Persian language and literature) and Cultural Anthropology, and a minor in dance. She speaks a very sweet Farsi, and seeing her interest in Iranian arts and culture is so heartwarming to me, making me so proud.
As a performer of Iranian dances and through her involvement with Iranian diaspora communities in Seattle and San Francisco, Heather has gained insight into the complex and ambiguous position of performers in Iranian society. While among the Iranian community, she also began to learn about Iran’s cultural heritage and Persian literary traditions, and grew fascinated by the strong role mystical poetry plays in every day Persian dialogue. In her studies at the University of Washington, she has fully engaged herself in Persian language, literature and cultural studies. She is currently excelling in advanced Persian language courses and has taken a variety of classes in Persian classical and contemporary literature, Islamic mystical literature, Near Eastern folklore and History of Islamic Civilization.
In addition to her obvious talent as a performing artist, Heather is one of the wisest and kindest people I have ever known. I never get tired of talking with her and affectionately call her an "Honarary Iranian!" You can access Heather's weblogs here and here. You can also see her perform Persian dances here, here, and here (if you can't access YouTube in Iran, try these links: here, here, and here). I wish Heather success and joy in her professional and personal life, as she truly deserves the best.
I end this Friday post by wishing you all a very relaxing and joyful weekend. As the world celebrates the New Year and Iranian moslems celebrate Eid-e-Qadir-e-Khom, I wish you all a good time next to your family and friends, filled with love and understanding. Go visit your elders, pay attention to the young people around you, and confess your love to those who matter most in this world, the people who would lift your spirits when you are down, and who would support you through harder times in life. Celebrate life as it is meant to be celebrated, with love, passion, and compassion. Be good y'all.


Marzieh said...

سلام نازی جان
بیشتر از 1 ساعته که توی وبلاگت می گردم و می خونم!
ساعت نزدیک به 3 صبحه
البته...این پست آخری رو نخوندم...
یه نگاه کردم
آخر هفته خوبی داشته باشی و سال خیلیییییییی بهتری در انتظارت..


Marzieh said...

چه اسم جالبی بهش دادی!
چیزی که به ذهن من هم رسید
چشماش پره از مهربانی
خیلی گل ه
اصلا باید اروپائی باشه
بلاک شرق
مرسی نازی جون لذت بردم از رقصش و از شناختنش.
راستی گمان نکنم ایران بوده باشه؟

حتما دوست داره بره اون جا.....:)

Nima said...

Dear Nazi,

What a happy I am for finding your interesting blog... I read two posts including this one which is the newest. Certainly I'll visit Heather's blogs.

Please look over my two (English and Persian) blogs.

I'll be beck...

Mehran said...

wow she is very talented. I have met her in ur house nazy joon, I knew she dance but never had chance to see her work. I saw the videos and enjoyed them. goo job

Babak said...

When I sent your post to one of my friends, she watched it ans said that her dancing style is quite similar to "Classical Indian" dance. I really enjoyed her dancing though.
Here is chilly, cloudy and dismal.
Have a nice weekend and Happy New Year:)

masoud said...

بالا بلندی گیسو کمندی
سلطان حسنی فرمانروایی
سلام نازی خانم
بیت بالا را هدیه کردم به دوست ایران.موجب افتخار ماست که کسی از آنسوی عالم علاقمند فرهنگ ایران باشد.همانطور که ریچارد نلسون فرای ایرانشناس بزرگ معاصر خود را ایراندوست نامیده،شایسته است اگر تابحال دوستت نام ایرانی انتخاب نکرده،او را ایراندخت بنامیم.بجز رقص چیزی هم منتشر کرده است؟
البته سراغ وبلاگش خواهم رفت.
عید غدیر بر تو و همه دوستان مبارک باد

bijan said...

Great friend you have! She is wonderful & very talented. Great post. Thanks :)

Nazy said...

Salam Bar Marzieh-ye Azizam:

Thank you for reading! You must be so bored by now! Heather is a beautiful person inside and out. She is very thoughtful and considerate, too, which is very refreshing in an artist. Yes, she is my Honorary Iranian friend. Happy New Year Marzieh Jan.

Nazy said...

Salam Nima Jan:

I am so glad you found me and now I have found you! I visited your blog for a few minutes and I will come back to read some more. I like the depth with which you write about your subjects. Very interesting. Come back and visit again soon Nima Jan.

Nazy said...

Salam Mehran Jan:

Khasteh nabashi! Yes, Heather does dance beautifully. Too bad she couldn't come to visit with us tonight. Perhaps when I see her again before she leaves for Seattle, you can come along, too. Take care Mehran Jan and get some much-deserved rest.

Nazy said...

Salam Babak Jan:

I am honored you came back. When I went to see Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam dance in our area a couple of months ago, he gave a talk about the lost art of Persian Dance. He said that in fact as Persian dance traveled to other parts of the world, such as India and Spain, it affected dance movements in those parts, too, so he assumes that the present-day Indian dance must have some hues of what original Persian dance might have looked like. Luckily, many artists and choreographers are now researching and reconstructing those dances.

Have a very Happy New Year Babak Jan.

Nazy said...

Salam Masoud Jan:

Thank you for your good wishes for Heather. I will be sure to pass them along to her. I will also suggest Irandokht to her! I know Heather has done some research on Iranian rap bands and music. I will ask to see if it has been published and pass the information along. Have a good day.

Nazy said...

Thank you Bijan Jan. There is so much life and good energy inside Heather. I really hope that she can take a performance onstage in our area sometime soon. If she does, I will let you know so that you can possibly catch it. Happy New Year Bijan Jan.

P.S. I saw your comment on my post about my father. Thank you for reading it and for your kind words.