Pars National Ballet was founded in 1966 by Abdollah Nazemi in Tehran, Iran. Mr. Nazemi began his dance career in 1954 with the Iranian National Academy of Ballet. His instructors were William Dollar and Ivon Patterson from the American Ballet Theatre and Anna Cox and Sandra Zolan from the Royal Ballet in London. After the revolution dance was no longer permitted in Iran, forcing many to leave their homeland to continue their work in the arts. Mr. Nazemi reestablished his company in Los Angeles and toured throughout Asia, Europe and North America until recent years. His passion for dance and preservation of Iranian folk dances was passed down to his many students, one of whom started their own chapter in Canada.
Azita Sahebjam began her dance career in Tehran at Pars National Ballet, under the direction of Mr. Nazemi and the company's many instructors. She quickly worked through her lessons and was selected into the performance company,
in addition to instructing adult classes. Azita immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in the late 1980s and immediately felt the need to continue in her master's footsteps in preserving Iranian culture through dance. Vancouver Pars National Ballet (VPNB) was established in 1989 in North Vancouver, where classical ballet was used as the foundational skills in learning Iranian folk and traditional dances.
Vancouver Pars National Ballet endeavors to showcase how art can interconnect communities.
Vancouver Pars National Ballet exists to present, promote, preserve, develop and share Iranian traditional and folk dances as a community leader.
Vancouver Pars National Ballet creates a broad scope of original interpretive works inspired by Iranian artists, and the rich heritage of the Iranian folk culture.
- Respecting the origins of traditional Iranian culture, while celebrating our Canadian heritage.
- Creating a centre of excellence in dance education to prepare the next generation of creators in the art form.
- Collaborating with other artists in Vancouver, in Canada and internationally.
- Creating a hub of arts and culture activity in the community.
- Presenting experiences for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
- Engaging diverse communities through performance, education and opportunities for inclusive participation.