Museum District Day

Middle Eastern Sacred Songs (Piyutim)--From Pulpit to Pop Chart
Galeet Dardashti, Vocalist and Anthropologist

Presented in collaboration with the Jewish Community Center, this presentation by Iranian-descended vocalist and anthropologist Galeet Dardashti is part of Museum District Day, an annual event that features special activities at museums throughout Houston's Museum District.

Galeet Dardashti will offer an interactive presentation on Mizrahi (Jews of the Middle East and North Africa) piyut traditions. The audience will hear and learn a few of these beautiful songs while gaining an understanding of their shifting historical and cultural significance from ancient Israel to the Middle Ages, and their new relevance today as some of Israel’s most noted secular rock singers have recorded their own renditions.  This program has music accompaniment, is learning-based, meditative, and has no admission charge.

Galeet Dardashti began performing in the United States and Canada as a child as a member of The Dardashti Family, and now pursues her own independent musical pursuits.  She is the granddaughter of Yona Dardashdi, the most renowned singer of Persian classical music in Iran in his day, and is the daughter of the highly esteemed cantor Farid Dardashti.  She also pursues her passion for Jewish music and culture as an anthropologist, having recently completed her Ph.D. in anthropology on the performance of contemporary Mizrahi and Arab music in Israel.

The Foundation for Jewish Culture and its presenters have selected Galeet Dardashti’s program as the premier commission of a six-city tour, of which the Jewish Community Center of Houston was chosen.  This initiative is through the New Jewish Culture Network to bring music and other art forms to various cities throughout the U.S.

Tai Chi on the Lawn
Henderson Smith, Instructor

The public is invited to watch and participate as Henderson Smith leads Tai Chi on the grounds of the Rothko Chapel near the reflecting pool and Barnett Newman’s sculpture Broken Obelisk.  The class is suitable for beginners as well as the experienced Tai Chi practitioner.  Loose fitting, comfortable clothes are recommended.

Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese martial art whose physical practice offers general health benefits, stress management, increased energy, and improved physical mobility.  The physical and meditative aspects of Tai Chi, which uses slow, repetitive movements, is recognized as relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind.  Henderson Smith is the founder of Living Well Therapies and is a certified instructor in Tai Chi.

Saturday, September 17, 2011
All Day

Experience Museum District Day.