Saturday 22 October 2016

Iranian Women Naghals at Frankfurt Book Fair

The Institute of Contemporary Art Development and the Iranian Embassy’s cultural counselor in Germany, have jointly organized a music and narration performance ‘Epic Twins: Rostam and Siegfried’ now underway at the Iran pavilion in the 68th Frankfurt Book Fair (October 19-23).

The text research and performance is from Sara Abbaspour and Parisa Simin-Mehr who have two shows in both Persian and German every day at the event, Honaronline reported.

The performance is accompanied by classical Persian music as well. Nazli Bakhshayesh, Alan Foroughi and Parsa Ahmadzadeh play the harp, ney and tonbak.

Iranian story-telling tradition known as ‘Naghali’ is the narrating of important stories from Iranian fables, myths and epics mentioned in the most important books since ancient times. It is usually undertaken before a big cloth or canvas hung on the walls of tea of coffee houses, painted on which are the events of the story being told by the naghal.

Stories are mostly taken from the tales mentioned in the globally-acclaimed poet Ferdowsi’s epic book Shahnameh (Book of Kings) and the naghal plays the roles of different characters with special tone, feelings and expressions.

Rostam is the most celebrated legendary hero in Shahnameh and Iranian mythology. He is always represented as the mightiest of Iranian warriors and is best known for his mournful fight with his son, Sohrab, who was killed in the battle, and for his seven quests where he fought with a lion, a dragon and a demon among other creatures.

Siegfried, also called Sigurd, is a figure from the heroic literature of the ancient Germanic people. He appears in both German and Old Norse literature. A feature common to all versions is his outstanding strength and courage as like one story where he fights with a dragon.

Simin-Mehr has been working on the Shahnameh and professional storytelling (naqali) since 2000. She has narrated several stories from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Saadi’s Bustan, Nezami’s Khosrow and Shirin and other Persian classics across Iran and in Italy and Germany.

Abbaspour has also performed at several naghali sessions in Iran, Italy and France.

Other Programs

The Iran pavilion at the prestigious German annual event is also hosting a variety of programs including the launching of books and sessions on different aspects of Persian literature.

A total of 41 Iranian publishers are presenting new titles in adults and children categories, Mehr News Agency reported.

Tehran Publishers and Booksellers Association, Islamic Revolution Publishers Forum, Sacred Defense Publishers Society, Women Publishers Cultural Society and the Iranian Association of Academic Publishers are among the participants.

Children’s author Farhad Hassanzadeh, novel writer Davoud Ghaffarzadegan, screenwriter, critic and journalist Naghmeh Samini and writer Saeed Ramezani are among the literary figures who have held meetings at the Iran pavilion.


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