Culture is a Legacy


Tales of Persia

Tales of Persia is the collection of modern stage productions conveying Persian culture traditions and folklore through dance music theater and art. Each production is intended to be moved to and performed in the major metropolitan locations where the most Iranian Americans live. Offering Iranians a source of pride and cultural contribution to America allowing their friends and neighbors to learn about true Persian culture.


The medium of dance and music, communal gathering, and joy in life, is our gift to the variety that makes America strong. The dance itself, under the direction of Niosha, the artistic director of NDA, working together with award winning guest choreographer, Jamal, is designed to allow the flexibility to include new elements, within its core framework, ensuring the performance is kept fresh and new whenever it is performed. The famed French author, Dumas, and infamous Russian composer Tchaikovsky, gave the world "The Nutcracker" to celebrate Christmas. We will now endeavor to bring "The Story of Nowruz" to celebrate Spring, Family, Poetry, and Community. The scale of this project will be larger than anything we have attempted before.


 A New Direction

The first production "Story of Nowruz" (pronounced Norooz) describes the unique celebration of the arrival of Spring and the beginning of the Persian new year. From the exciting ancient Zoroastrian soul cleansing fire jumping ritual, to the good luck charm and beauty of the "Table of the Seven S's.”

The production will depict the season of Spring and it's traditions of inspiration rebirth, renewal, and hope through new dances and music in a completely new and original stage production.


The debut of this unique work coincided with the celebration of Persian New Year in March 2018.

Celebrating the beauty and pageantry of this classic festival we intend to honor Iran’s ancient traditions and produce a unique event for all. There is no better time than now!


The production of “The Story of Nowruz” will be designed and produced bybringing together the best contemporary Persian dance choreographers, musicians, dancers and stage crew.


Niosha Nafei-Jamali

As founder of Niosha Dance Academy, Niosha has been involved in the education, promotion, and preservation of Iranian tradition and culture both in the US and abroad since 1991. Niosha has been an ambassador of Iranian culture throughout the United States, and has performed at venues like the Santa Clara Convention Center, the San Franciso Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco City Hall, Oracle Arena, Amaricas Got Talent, as well as major universities like UC Berkeley, UCSF, and Stanford.


Anthony Shay

As a dancer and choreographer specializing in dances from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, Anthony Shay is the de-facto standard of excellence for the technical and artistic appreciation, evolution, and preservation of cultural dance in the US. Author of 11 books, he is currently Professor of Dance and Cultural Studies in the Theatre and Dance Department of Pomona College.


Ahmad Pejman

Ahmad Pejman is an honored Iranian-American classical composer. A graduate of the Music Academy in Vienna and Columbia University's Doctorate of Music, Pejman has composed, arranged and written an impressive body of work for Jazz, Pop, Classical, as well as music for motion pictures and recordings.



An award winning Iranian-American choreographer, visual artist, and designer, Jamal expresses the celebration of mind, body, and the essence of movement through space. Jamal earned his BA and MA in design from California State University, Los Angeles. His life-long passion for the arts is the result of his rich life experiences.

Story of nowruz

The beauty, pageantry, and cultural essence of Nowruz/Norooz, the Persian New Year and beginning of Spring, deserves no less than the very best. And your support staring with April 28th, will help ensure that the story is told in the best possible manner.


Show Dates

March 21, 2020
March 22, 2020


Palace of Fine Arts
3601 Lyon Street
San Francisco, CA 94123