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   Medea Mahdavi


I am starting to teach weekly classes again on Wednesday evenings, starting on Wednesday 25 October. See below for more details.
Suraya Hilal in Bristol

It was a pleasure to host Suraya Hilal in Bristol in February. Read a brief interview with her and feedback from Alison Knight, one of my students, who attended Suraya's workshop.

download the interview

The history of Persian dance

This article covers the history of Persian dance before and after the Islamic Revolution. It was first publshed in Mosaic dance magazine. To find out about Mosaic, visit

download the Mosaic article

Sunday 17 February, 10.00 to 1.00

Hosted by Medea Mahdavi at 

Footwork Studio, Bristol BS3


Shahrzad Khorsandi interview

Read my interview with Shahrzad Khorsandi on her first and only masterclass in the UK, in my dance studio.

download the interview

Natasha will teach a choreography by Helia Bandeh.


At: Footwork Studio,

Stackpool Road,


Bristol, BS3 1NG

Find us here



Iranian & Middle Eastern Dance

(including classical, folk and popular styles)

I teach Iranian and Middle Eastern dance in my studio on Wednesday evenings. Iranian (or Persian) dance is similar to belly dance but we place more emphasis on upper body, hands and facial expression.

Classes are £10. Please book in advance.



Come for a taster, you can pay for just one class at a time!


Classes are 

£7 per hour


£30 for 6 hours

in advance


Previous classes in the Studio have included yoga

meditation and pilates.


The studio is also used by performers for rehearsals.

Photo credit: Anita Hummel

My studio space is available for hire


Footwork dance studio in Southville is available for occasional hire. The studio is warm and well lit with mirrors on one wall. The floor is wooden with Persian carpets which can be removed if required.

The space is around 360 square feet.  

Please contact me here for further details.



Community group dance classes

I teach small groups of up to four students by arrangement in my studio.



Celebrating Long Mynd (2007)


A site-specific dance film inspired by the beauty of the landscape. Collaboration with film-maker, Ann Pugh and the residents of the Long Mynd, Shropshire.


Dancing the Knife (2001-02 re-developed 2011)


The story of a woman refugee who meets a street theatre performer. The show explores encounters and feelings experienced by refugees when they arrive in the UK. It weaves together dance, live music, digital images and text, commissioned from Philip Gross. 


Fishermen (2000)


Performance inspired by a visit to the Caspian Sea in Iran and stories from Persian mythology. Medea narrated the story through dance and mime in collaboration with b-boy dance. Performed at WOMAD.


Can I dance, can I play? (1998-99)


Medea Mahdavi and jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard explored issues of artistic survival in "Can I dance, can I play?". Through almost a game of hide and seek, the performance examined the experience of artists under political repression. "Can I dance, can I play?" revealed the irrepressible desire to express freedom and joy that drive dance and music back into the light.


Doves (1996-97)


Simorgh - The Phoenix (1995-96)


The reviewer said of the premiere: "We sat transfixed, spellbound, carried on a wave of rhythm and imagery: the magic of performance was honoured tonight." A multi-media collaboration with dance, sound sculpture, text and live music. Medea used each of the linked dances to portray a character inspired by stories by 12th century Persian poet Nizami. Through the symbolic power of the characters, Medea led the audience through the thoughts and actions of a contemporary entertainer.


Inspired by the mythical bird Simorgh, Medea and fellow artists use dance, storytelling, live music and projected images to explore the theme of adoption. This show was premiered as part of the Mosaics season at the Lillian Baylis Theatre.​


Other dances



A duet for Medea Mahdavi and Bobak Walker based on Zahhak, a character from a tale by Firdausi. "The sacrifices we make to serve our taste buds." A collaboration between Iranian and b-boy dance, first performed at the University of Bath.

Tales of the Desert (1994-95)


This work reflects true-life stories of the plight of Kurdish people. A collaboration with a Bristol-based author, including live music.



Dances inspired by Safavid era (16th to 18th centuries) in the British Museum.


Zahhak (2006)



I have recently added several videos to my YouTube channel. These include footage of some of my past shows, including: Can I Dance, Can I Play?, Dancing the Knife, and Book of Kings.



To see more of my videos, visit my YouTube channel.



Hairy Bikers (2010)

Inspired by Persian food, Medea cooks quince and pear dessert for this popular TV show.


Casualty (2009)

choreographer and background dancer in episode 11 of TV series Casualty.


Year of the Artist (2002)

a programme about Medea, as part of the nation-wide celebration of Year of the Artist.


Eat your Greens (1993)

with Sophie Grigson, cooking and dancing on vegetarian TV food series. Medea's recipe for spinach with yoghurt was included in Sophie Grigson's book 'Eat Your Greens' published by Network Books.


Celebrating arts in schools

Working in schools, museums and other public settings to celebrating multi-culturalism through collaborative projects using dance, storytelling and other arts (for example, "Walking with Water" and "The World in our Woods"). With these projects Medea took established artists into schools to collaborate with pupils to promote racial harmony and equal opportunities.



I have worked with a variety of actors, dancers, musicians, sculptors, composers, poets/playwrights, including: Saed Ahmadi, Nibras Al-Salman, Howard Coggins, Alan Coveney, Laura Cooper, Glen and Tony Eastman, Natasha Fewings, Simon Gore, Stuart Greaves, Ailsa Gudgeon, Robyn Friend, Philip Gross, Tim Garside, Hamava Ensemble, Ralph Hoyte, Hossein Iraji, Cyrus Khajavi, Sheena Marklew, Ibrahim Al-Manyawi, Will Menter, Salah Dawson Miller, Jess Nichols, Ann Pugh, James Reed, Owen Reynolds, Andy Sheppard, Barak Schmool, Rowland Spyer, Simon Preston, Teresa Thornhill, MJ Thornton, Bobak Walker, Bob Walton, Jo de Waal, Amir Jahed Vakilzadeh.


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