Renowned Modern Dancer and Meadows Alum Joins Division of Dance Faculty

Parisa Khobdeh, professional dancer and alum of Meadows dance program, will return to the school as a faculty member this fall.

Dance alum and new faculty member Parisa Khobdeh photographed by Matthew Karas for Dance Magazine.
Khobdeh will teach dance courses and choreograph two productions in the fall. (Photo by Matthew Karas for Dance Magazine)

Alumni of Meadows School of the Arts often give back to the school in a variety of ways, from donating their time and resources to mentoring students. And some even decide to return to their alma mater as faculty, hoping to give current students the same experience they had. Parisa Khobdeh (B.F.A. ’03), a graduate of the Division of Dance, is one such alum.


After living in New York City and London for the last 20 years, Khobdeh will be returning to campus this fall to teach Meadows’ current dance students. Her time at Meadows provided a valuable connection to a community of vibrant artists and scholars, something she hopes to encourage among her students in her role as a faculty member.


“Being a Meadows student expanded my artistic and cultural horizons beyond my wildest expectations,” says Khobdeh. “I am thrilled to be back as a professional to nurture the next generation of dynamic creators.”


Parisa Khobdeh in rehearsal with the late Paul Taylor. Photo by Whitney Browne.

Khobdeh in rehearsal with the late Paul Taylor. Photo by Whitney Browne.


In addition to her training at Meadows, Khobdeh also spent extended periods of study on scholarships at the Paul Taylor Dance School, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and American Dance Festival. She has studied under many notable figures in the dance industry, including Meadows professors of modern dance Larry White and Nathan Montoya, Linda Hodes, Marni Woods, Peggy Lyman, Blakeley McGuire, Bettie De Jong, Donald McKayle, Judith Jamison, Masazumi Chaya, Robert Battle, and Paul Taylor.


Taylor, a recipient of the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts, became Khobdeh’s mentor and she subsequently became his muse while dancing for the Paul Taylor Dance Company for nearly 17 years. After creating and dancing hundreds of Taylor's works, and working with other notable American choreographers, she has built an impressive foundation of dance expertise that she can now offer her students.


During her first fall semester, Khobdeh will be teaching Modern II and two additional dance courses with ballet Artists-in-Residence Carter Alexander and Silas Farley. She will also be choreographing the Division of Theatre’s fall production of Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play as well as re-staging the Paul Taylor masterwork Esplanade with live music.


“For me, Meadows was a playground of creation and discovery, and a deep appreciation for my heritage as an artist,” she explains of her experience in the dance program. “It brings me great joy teaching these young Meadows artists the American modern dance canon.”


Learn more about Khobdeh and her dance career here.