IPA's advisory board is composed of members of the dance community with extensive experience and expertise, who provide us with guidance through our projects. We are incredibly lucky to have the support and advice of these amazing artists, who have a life time of expertise in performance, choreography, and directing dances, as well as being agents for social change through dance.
The Founder and Artistic Director of Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, Jose Mateo is one of America's leading producers of new ballets. Cuban born, Mr. Mateo's innovative choreographies provoke conversation and thought and have significantly influenced Ms. Eghbali's perspective on choreography.
Mr. Mateo's commitment to making dance accessible to all has played a significant role in the structure of his school, and the committment to communities. Furthermore, he has developed Dance for World Community (DWC), a project that looks at dance as a medium for social change. IPA has been an active participant in the DWC festivals for six years. This festival showcases nearly 80 groups with diverse works for a wide audience. It also provides a platform for exhange, where teachers can teach workshops which are free to attendees, thus sharing their work with a larger population.
Mr. Mateo began his formal training in balelt and modern dance at Princeton University. He had a career as a dancer in New York and later moved to Boston and gained attention for his teaching and choreography. His work has been recognized by The Boston Globe’s “10 Best Dance Events” in 1990, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2008. He is also a winner of the state recognized fellowship in Choreography.
Mateo has served as a Director on the Boards of the Boston Cultural Council, the Cambridge Arts Council, ArtsBoston, Boston Dance Alliance, Dance Umbrella, the Victoria Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan, Homelessness Empowerment Project, and the Muniz Academy. He currently serves on the Boards of Friends of Caritas Cubana, MASSCreative and Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School; and is the Treasurer of the Cambridge Arts Council Fund.
Mr. Mateo and DWC have been strong supporters of IPA and the home to the 2nd International Iranian Dance Conference. Mr. Mateo has continuously offered his wealth of knowledge and advice to IPA and has been an invaluable advisor and mentor ot the organization and its founder.
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Namus Zokhrabov began dancing at the youth palace in Baku. Very quickly he was noticed and invited to the Children's Dance Group "Djudjalerim" and at the age of twelve, he went on his first tour to Bulgaria.
At 13 years of age, Mr. Zokhrabov was among the first 15 students to be accepted to the State Ballet School of Baku for hte experimental class of The State Dance Ensemble of Azerbaijan. He graduated that program in 1975, at a time where not every folk dancer had a ballet education. He was only 15 years old when he was invited to the State Song and Dance Ensemble of Azerbaijan and in a year started performing in a new progra of the State Dance Ensemble.
Subsequently, Mr. Zokhrabov joined the State Dance Ensemble of Dagestan "Lezinka." After two years, he returned to Azerbaijan as a soloist. In 1986, he received the State honorary title of a Merited Artist of Azerbaijan for oustanding contributions to the sphere of hte art of Azerbaijan dance. Mr. Zokhrabov then became the ensemble's choreographer. He also worked as as manager of the dane group at the State Theater of Song of RAshid Beybutov.
Upon retirement after 20 yearsof work, Mr. Zokhrabov moved to the USA where he practiced dance therapy with esnior citizens in Adult Health daycare centers for a decade. In 2015, he accepted hte invitation to teach at the 2nd IIDC. HE has since joined the advisory board of IPA and has been an invalualbe source of knowledge. He was the featured master at the 4th IIDC in Los Angeles and continues to share his expertise with the organization.
Indira Mehrpour's dance career began when she auditioned to enter the only performing arts high school in Tehran, a one of a kind institute no longer in existance. From there, she joined the Mahalli dancers of Iran and performed with the country's national folkloric dance ensemble until the 1979 revolution.
Ms. Mehrpour spent her remaining time in Iran teaching ballet among other things. Dance was her passion. In a country where dance had not been considered a respectable art form for stage, for centuries, she had been given the chance to experience it in its full glory. Just as quick as she stumbled upon that treasure, it was taken away.
For many years that followed, Ms. Mehrpour taught ballet and Iranian folkloric dances to children in Northern Virginia. Her love of dance has permeated her family. Both of her daughters are professional ballerinas and all are active members of the dance community.
Ms. Mehrpour's deep passion for dance, and her committment to preserve and promote Iranian dances has brought her to IPA as one of our advisors who not only understands the dances from a very personal level, but appreciates the challenges of being an Iranian dancer.
Ms. Mehrpour has taught at IIDC 2012 and 2015 and continues to provide IPA with valuable advice and resources.