Most Iranians have seen at least one keep-fit clip on You Tube of the ever-flamboyant Mohammad Khordadian. Unique because of his incredible lycra outfits, the Iranian-Aerobic moves he develops (and other bizarre fusions such as ‘Arabic Trance Dance’ or ‘Dikey Dikey‘), because of his own capacity to undulate or flick his wrist plus the assortment of extreme characters he trains with in the videos, no one will forget his clips once viewed. The reaction is generally “why not” because he is good at what he does, if a little cute and he completely embraces kitsch in a manner most other dancers never could. Perhaps the pinnacle of these, after his Liberace style outfits of the 80s is the more recent and conceptually far out Mummy, below.
Khordadian’s story took him from Iran to London to Los Tehrangeles, and even a spate in prison for refusing to keep a low profile while visiting his father once. He graduated from the University of Art and Drama in Tehran, Iran and later studied Ballet and modern dance in the UK . The ‘King of Iranian Dance’ had his heydey in the 80s and the DVDs are still circulating on Amazon as classic oddities alongside Jane Fonda and the original callanetics videos, however he continued to appear on Iranian satellite channels beamed into LA and back to Iran. It is impossible for Khordadian to travel in Iran without people recognising him and asking him to dance, just as it is impossible for this compulsive performer to refuse to dance. But the fame cost him a period in prison where even the guards were his fans.
Now he’s coming over from his home in Dubai to instruct a two day workshop in North London on Saturday June 30, 2013. To prevent the King of Iranian Dance from being mobbed, the location of the classes are not to be revealed, but if you want to book a place (mornings are already booked up) call this number to ‘unlock the door to your pathway to kitsch’ 07980-77-88-50 Meanwhile Khordadian’s classes have spawned all sorts of imitations and offshoots, see the Iranian twins Dance Duo 1076) or the eccentric Ramin Sohbrab, who is clearly inspired as much by the video games and gangster movies of his own generation as by the flair of this enduring male dance icon.