Miriam Peretz is an internationally acclaimed instructor and performing artist specializing in traditional and contemporary dances from the Silk Road, Middle East & beyond. Coming from a highly diverse dance background Miriam’s form brings together her background in traditional forms of world dance (namely Central Asian, Middle Eastern & Flamenco) with her contemporary training. As a performing artist Miriam is most interested in blurring the lines between audience and performer, creating ritualistic dance art, and working with cross cultural, cross religious and devotional themes.
Miriam has been a principal dancer with Inbal Ethnic Dance Theater (Tel Aviv,) Wan Chao Chang Dance Company (Bay Area,) Aywah (Bay Area) and served as assistant artistic director of Ballet Afsaneh (Bay Area) for five years. Miriam was principal dancer, choreographer, and lead instructor with Ballet Afsaneh for over a decade. Miriam has been a featured soloist in festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe. She was selected as a soloist for the highly acclaimed San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival June 2005, and again June, 2008. Miriam has performed with many acclaimed master musicians including; Amir Shahsar, Pezhham Akhavass, Abbos Kosimov, Efren Lopez, Habib Qaderi, and Sonja Drakulich of Stellamara.
As an instructor, Miriam has a reputation for being a highly dynamic and inspiring teacher, offering students the opportunity for self-growth, personal healing and intense physical challenge. Her students often continue to study with her after many years, as she continues to find innovative ways to challenge them. Miriam holds a B.A. in performing arts with a dance emphasis from Saint Mary’s College of California, and is a certified Pilates instructor.
Miriam’s love of dance has led her on a life long journey taking her throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Miriam has studied with master teachers from around the world and done intensives in Tajikistan, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Israel. She studied for three years at the Jerusalem Academy of Oriental Music and Dance where she focused on percussion, music theory, and Central Asian dance with Galia Akilov. Miriam completed an artist residency in Dushanbe, Tajikistan working with Padida Dance Theater directed by Sharofat Rashidova. Some of Miriam’s main dance teachers/mentors are Sharlyn Sawyer (director of Ballet Afsaneh,) Wan-Chao Chang, Ilana Cohen (X-director of Inbal Ethnic Dance Company,) Fanny Ara, and Anna Halprin.
Living both in the Middle East and the U.S. as well as traveling internationally, has offered Miriam many rich opportunities for cultural collaboration have given her great inspiration to find ways the arts can help build bridges and create respect, love and unity among people of different backgrounds and spiritual traditions. Miriam is the creator and director of the “Miriam’s Well project”, an interfaith performance collaboration exploring sacred dance, music, and spirituality from the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions.
Miriam has most recently initiated Nava Dance Collective, an international women’s collective of dancers devoted to creating meaningful artistic collaborations in the realm of traditional, ethno-contemporary, sacred and ritual dance art. Currently the collective has 4 main bases: California, Israel, Italy & Spain. Miriam spends time in each of these locations offering trainings as well as developing performance, based projects.
Among Miriam's future dreams include the development of a Dance Art Sanctuary that will be a home to the many diverse workshop & class offerings she teaches, as well as a center for other dance forms, body healing modalities, monthly rituals, and community gatherings. For now the Dance Art Sanctuary is a traveling model as Miriam strives to create a sacred community dance space in each location that she teaches in.