Nazemi, Abdollah (1937--) By Shay, Anthony
Abdollah Nazemi founded the Pars National Ballet, a semiprivate dance company, in 1966. It was the first known instance of a Western-style modern dance group to be established in Iran by an Iranian. National Radio and Television of Iran largely supported and funded the company, and most of the choreographies created by Nazemi and his colleagues were performed on television. Nazemi was trained in the Ministry of Culture and Art’s ballet program, a school of the National Ballet of Iran. He began his professional career in the National Ballet of Iran, eventually performing lead roles in many classical and Iranian-themed choreographies. After the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1980, which banned all dance performances, Nazemi emigrated to Los Angeles. He attempted to continue the Pars National Ballet, but was forced to operate in greatly reduced circumstances.