Zoya Sardashti

A Brief Biography

Theatre is an obsession that keeps me from pursuing a career in politics. Born in Denver, Colorado to an American mother and an Iranian father, I spent most of my childhood in the southern part of the United States. Across the last eight years I have produced performances in Seoul, London, Los Angeles, Glorenza, Venice, and Florence. In 2014 I earned a M.A. from Roehampton University in Performance & Creative Research and at Hendrix College, a liberal arts university, obtained a B.A. in Theatre Arts. I have worked as an assistant director, dramaturge, and casting associate at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. In 2008 I attended the Lincoln Center’s International Director’s Lab as guest director. While living in Korea, I worked with Seoul Factory for the Performing Arts. Under the direction of Limb Hyoung-Taek, I participated in ensemble training: a hybrid of Viewpoints composition and Korean dance movement methodologies for theatre-making as well as served as an international collaboration liaison, director’s assistant and outreach associate. Currently I am pursuing a PhD in Philosophy, Art and Social Thought at The European Graduate School. My work is exists between the domains of live art, performance ethnography and cultural mediation.  

Artist Statement

Our body is the first place of inhabitation. Interacting with various landscapes creates memories and narratives are formed. Sites are affected by bodies and bodies are affected by sites. The more we move into ourselves, the more we move beyond ourselves into other places. Since identity is fluid, there is a need to go beyond representation and beyond identification, so participating with landscapes means provoking a new set of concerns.

By engaging with diverse modes of performance practices and encounters (strategic, playful or disruptive), I consider the landscape of current cultural, political, and societal developments and the possibility of confrontation and counteraction. I use the concept of performativity as a mode of inquiry to better articulate the ritualistic, theatrical, ordinary and interactive dimensions of culture and understand the dynamics of cultural exchange in performance. Throughout each process I question how the performativity of exchange in performance translates ways a person ‘performs culture’, ‘performs art’, and ‘performs politics’.

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