Flame of the Heart: Mystical Dance from the Middle East


Performing artist, teacher, and dance ethnologist Hannah Romanowsky presents an evening of mystical and ritual dance inspired by the rich spiritual legacy of the Middle East, including the whirling of Sufi Mystics, the zar healing ritual practiced among women of Egypt, and the Guedra blessing ceremony of the matrilineal North African Tuaregs.

Informed by her academic background in psycho-spiritual development and consciousness studies, Hannah will follow her performances with an informal educational presentation and slide show on the history of embodied spiritual practices in the Islamic world, followed by a Q&A.

BIO: Hannah Romanowsky is an international performing artist, dance educator, and choreographer from the San Francisco bay area specializing in Middle-Eastern and Central Asian dance. A recognized Persian dance specialist, she is in high demand among the Bay Area Iranian community as a performer and teacher. With 30 years of experience training in world dance traditions, Hannah draws her aesthetic impulse from both Eastern and Western classical arts and is honored to have shared the proscenium stage with esteemed artists at museums and festivals throughout Asia, Europe, and North America; including San Francisco’s Ethnic Dance Festival at the Palace of Fine Arts, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, the British Museum in London, and the Roof of the World Festival in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan.

Hannah is Founding Director of the DanceVersity multicultural youth arts education program, and holds degrees in Dance Ethnology and East-West Psychology. At age 20 she began studying dance and music from North Africa, the Near East, and the Balkan Roma with folklorist and early Bal Anat dancer Katarina Burda, performing in Aywah! Ethnic Dance Company for many years alongside notable luminaries of the contemporary Tribal Bellydance scene. She went on to train in Silk Road dance with Sharlyn Sawyer, and has performed with Ballet Afsaneh under her directorship at some of the most prestigious venues in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Ms. Romanowsky was a founding artist of Wan-Chao Dance, an award-winning ethn0-contemporary company that draws inspiration from Chinese, Indonesian, Mongolian, and other world heritages.

An inspiring and joyful teacher, Hannah is passionate about cultivating a sense of wonder for the human impulse to dance and appreciation for the incredible reservoir of humanity’s wisdom and creativity throughout time and cultures that enriches our lives today.

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