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Search for Simurgh Artist Bios

Sept. 23-24, 2022. Dizzy Gillespie Auditorium & Lobby. NYC Bahá'í Center. 53 E 11th St., New York, NY 10003

Roya Movafegh (1971-2015) was a multi-media artist and writer. Her work explores the dynamics of assimilation, the multiple facets of cultural identity, and freedom. She initiated Search for Simurgh with Kate Digby as a multi-disciplinary sequel to her novel The People With No Camel, and, at the time of her passing, was co-writing its adaptation to film with Myriam Rafla.

Kate Digby is a choreographer, director and performer who has created over 50 original works that have been performed across the U.S., in Canada and India. She is also associate professor of dance and associate director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Kansas State University. She is a certified instructor of Moving for Life DanceExercise for Health®, BodyMind Dancing™, The Batdorf Technique, Yoga, and is training to become a Certified Movement Analyst and Dance Movement Therapist.

Luis Henrique Canyada, aka Brother North of Division X is an MC, poet, songwriter, producer, teaching artist, and the lead vocalist for the Hip Hop music group Division X &

M. Aleijuan King is an independent, Brooklyn-based educator, dancer, choreographer, multi-media, and visual/performance artivist. Aleijuan (ah-lay-joo-wan) may be additionally viewed on his site:  


Bea Martino is a multidisciplinary performance artist, space-maker, grief advocate, and facilitator - a weaver of multiple elements and disciplines into a unified whole - all with the aim to warmly embrace and hold space. Bea's creative practice includes dance, performance art, music, storytelling, writing, digital collage, video art / projection, and immersive installations. Learn more at

Maya Orchin has worked with artists such as Luis Lara Malvacias, Okwui Okpokwasili, Bill T Jones, Christine Bonansea, Davis Freeman, Zoe Scofield, Madeline Hollander, Reut Shemesh, Lynn Neuman, Jody Oberfelder and more. As a choreographer her work has been presented internationally in Canada, Poland, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Russia, Israel, and throughout the United States.

Neoshia Shockley is from Eureka, Kansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography, printmaking and a minor in dance. Her artwork addresses dance from a first-person experience as a dancer herself. From losing her passion over the years and finding it once again with the help of fellow dancers in the dance department at Kansas State University and from the friends she has met along the way who inspire her to keep dancing.

Marissa Truitt born and raised in Juneau, Alaska, Marissa graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in contemporary dance. Her performance highlights at UNCSA include works by Jose Limon, Martha Graham, Helen Simoneau, Grady Bowman, Shannon Gillen, and Anouk Van Dijk. Since graduating, she has choreographed and directed her first dance film “Gū’Nū’Ku”, received the Kenan Fellowship at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and performed in Nicole Pierce’s And It Lingers.
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