One evening, as audience members mill about the foyer of Black Box Teater in Oslo, a Norwegian radio journalist approaches those waiting with the question: “What comes to mind when I say the name Hooman Sharifi?”
Any story about Hooman Sharifi inevitably includes his personal history. Even theatre-goers who are familiar with his work, such as those in Oslo, focus almost entirely on Hooman’s background and person when asked about him. He is of Iranian origin. He was smuggled out of Iran and into Norway when he was about fourteen.
His interest in dance started with street dance and hip hop. He later studied dance at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO) where he was quickly declared a choreographer and subsequently began choreography studies. His heavy-set body is unusual for dance. After seven years as a choreographer, Sharifi is a well-known figure in European dance, but his personal history still lurks in the wings, poised to overshadow his art. Lately, Hooman Sharifi has been bringing his background out of the shadows and onto the stage.
In 2000, Hooman Sharifi founded the Impure Company. From its inception, Impure’s artistic credo has been “art equals politics.” Hooman ...