Choreography and light: Hooman Sharifi
With: Rikke Baewert, Matthew William Smith, Hooman Sharifi, Ida Gudbrandsen, Ali Moini
Music: Arash Moradi (Iranian Tanbûr)
Sound technician: Terje Wessel Overland
Production: Impure Company
Coproduction: BIT Teatergarasjen
In this new production it is about the themes of self-sacrifice, mourning rituals and love at the same time.
Impure company has worked on this theme for years.
We always approach the theme of “self-sacrifice” with an attitude where one actively, with self-will and clear strategy, sacrifices oneself. One sacrifices oneself for something and never in the name of something. One should not sacrifice oneself for everybody but everybody must be sacrificing. This will be the centre of this performance, we all must sacrifice as a Collective. We will work on being connected to each other as a collective, holding each other constantly and moving individually.
Here we will get our inspiration from a mourning ritual in Iran called ASHURA.
Ashura is one of my strongest memory as a child. The whole country is mourning, collectively. Ashura was probably the first real performance I watched. The ritual is amazing, all people are dressed in black. All the groups, the music, singing and the strong rhythms are made by many people, hundreds and hundreds of people hitting themselves with chains and with their hands. They are singing, shouting and crying and at the end they are all sharing a meal in the Mosque. Lots of smaller groups are sitting around, there are many big metal plates and everybody is eating with hands. If we could take the religion out of it, it would be a great activity for society, mourning publicly together for nothing then mourning together.
The Ashura is the most important celebration of the Shia Islam. In this day, and in all the Islamic month of Moharram (first month of the Muslim calendar), the Shia Muslims remember the death of the Imam Hussein, a leader of the Shia killed in the 7th century by the Sunni in the battle of Kerbala (Iraq).
“...At last, after a good deal of reflection, Zeus discovered a way. He said : ‘Methinks I have a plan which will enfeeble their strength and so extinguish their turbulence; men shall continue to exist, but I will cut them in two and then they will be diminished in strength and increased in numbers… ”
This is how we became two and started to look for our other half, going to each other, trying to melt into our original form. This is the humans story of love according to Aristophanes’s Speech from Plato’s Symposium. (It made me think, we all have found our other half and found our original form. Could we then make a new attack upon gods and lay hands on them. So, love is really the answer?)
About the choreographer
Born and raised in Iran, Sharifi is now a Norwegian citizen. He arrived in Norway solitarily in 1989 at the age of 15. His experience in dance started with hip-hop and street-jazz. Later, at the age of 21, came the technical training of classical ballet and modern dance. In 1997 he was accepted to the 3-year course in choreography with the National College of Ballet and Dance in Oslo, from which he graduated in spring 2000,the same year he founded his own company Impure Company. He has always been interested in the “cross-work” of dance and theatre, and after graduating he has worked with dramatic as well as visual arts. The statement “art equals politics” where social awareness and commitment defines the word politics, marks the outset for Impure Company and signifies what art is and should be.