Art And Culture

A Performance Inspired by Poet Ganjavi

A Performance Inspired by Poet Ganjavi A Performance Inspired by Poet Ganjavi

The performance ‘The Story of Seven Women’, directed by Hamed Soltani and recently staged at Sa Art Gallery, was inspired by ‘Haft Peykar’, a romantic story by the celebrated 12th century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi written in 1197.

A part of the ‘Khamsa of Nizami’, a lavishly illustrated manuscript of five poems, ‘Haft Peykar’ is a profoundly moralistic work. The book was first  translated by Charles Edward Wilson into English and published in London in 1924 under the title of ‘The Seven Beauties’.

Soltani said an important reason why he chose Nizami’s poems was because “of the focus on women and their strong role in this classic Persian literary work.” He wanted to show the influence of classical and traditional social structures on Iranian contemporary women in his play, Honaronline reported.

Pointing to the modern style of the performance, composed of a mix of Nizami’s poem and his own literary inputs, Soltani said that the abundant visual scenes of the poems were the other reason why he chose Nizami.

“I didn’t want the audience to answer questions, but rather want them to ask questions in their mind, about life and contemporary women and whether their stance is right or not,” Soltani said. He himself has questioned clichés about women.

Although the focus was on women’s role, the performance had no gender bias and men could connect with the story. The plot was about human issues narrated by women.

The 55-minute performance by six actors, including Maryam Bagherinesami, Pantea Shayesteh, Elahe Dehghani, Mitra Kia, Ava Golkar and Darya Yaseri, had no dialogues and merely showed items and movements, in a setting with seven rooms, symbolizing the seven beauties, designed as houses or workplaces.