Art And Culture

Montignac Fest Names Iran Choreographer Peace Envoy

Montignac Fest Names Iran Choreographer Peace Envoy  Montignac Fest Names Iran Choreographer Peace Envoy

Iranian theater choreographer, actress and photographer Aram Khalkhali, 34, has been named peace ambassador of the International Festival of Montignac.

The town of Montignac in Vezere Valley, southwestern France, organizes the international dance and music festival every year, attracting 20,000 people from around the world. The festival is one of the important events in this field.

Khalkhali is a member of the Limer music ensemble led by Mohammadreza Beladi. The ensemble took part in the Montignac festival (July 26-31) and presented ethnic music and ritual dances from Bushehr, a southern province in Iran.

Her successful performance of the ritual dance stood out among the over 400 artists from various dance and music bands from across the world who participated. Khalkhali's part in the piece 'What Have I Got,' composed by Beladi, was outstanding, Mehr News Agency reported.

 "The composition was accompanied by the Sufi 'Sama' dance in which she played the central role. The performance was so successful that a French TV channel dedicated a major part of its program to our show," said Beladi.

The composition is based on poems of Persian poet, scholar and Sufi mystic Jalal ad-Din Mohammad Rumi (1207-1273). It is a fusion between Bushehr's ethnic music and the mystic Sama music.

Beladi introduced to Sama the ecstatic music of the so-called 'zar' ritual, which is the practice of exorcising  spirits from a possessed individual and popular in some Islamic cultures, melodies of the 'yazleh' folk group performance and some modes from the mourning musical pieces performed in southern Iran. "I believe all these rituals have a common root."

At the closing ceremony, Khalkhali conveyed the festival's message of peace to the participants.

The board of directors of the Choreographers Association at Iranian Theater Forum congratulated Khalkhali on her selection as the festival's peace envoy.

Limer music ensemble has held several Bushehr ethnic music and dance performances in Iran and abroad. The ensemble has played an influential role in promoting Iranian folk music overseas.