Sassanid King, Roman Harpist on Stage
Art And Culture

Sassanid King, Roman Harpist on Stage

A chorographical play about Sassanid king Bahram V, better known as Bahram Gur, will be staged Saturday at Shahrzad Theater. Writer and theater director Hedieh Rahmatnejad has directed the play titled ‘Book of Bahram.’ In a talk with Mehr News Agency, she said: “In case the play receives a good reception, it will be staged on the following Saturdays as well.” ‘Book of Bahram’ is a love story between Bahram V (400-438 AD) and a Roman slave-girl. When Bahram was in Al-Hirah, an ancient city in Mesopotamia, the girl was offered to him as a harpist. In Rahmatnejad’s play the girl’s name is Fetneh, the name attributed to the Roman harpist in Bahramnameh (Book of Bahram), also known as Haft Peykar (Seven Portraits), a romantic epic by Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209). The girl is named Azadeh in Ferdowsi’s epic poem Shahnameh (Book of Kings). “The play is based on physical forms and choreography, inspired by some Asian ritual dances such as those in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and India. Research on the work took two years,” Rahmatnejad said. Among available versions of the stories about the Sassanid king and the Roman harpist, the director selected a happy ending narrated by Ganjavi. Fetneh always accompanies Bahram on his hunting expeditions. One day she expresses sympathy for gazelles instead of praising Bahram’s hunting skills. The young and ignorant Bahram becomes angry and lets his camel trample her. “I needed to convert the language used in Book of Bahram into a contemporary tongue,” Rahmatnejad said. She handed her research notes to writer, theater director, actor and set designer Hamed Rahimi-Nasr. He conducted his own research and wrote the present play.

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