THE SCARLET STONE, a visually stunning dance-theatre program drawn from Persian myth and tradition, streams FREE through October 31.
THE SCARLET STONE is based on the Shahnameh, an epic poem by the 10th century Persian poet Ferdowsi. Eighty minutes long, in Persian with projected English subtitles, it was created by composer/director Shahrokh Yadegari and dancer/choreographer Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam and performed live in 2015 at Royce Hall UCLA (where this digital version was filmed). The show features stunning performances by acclaimed artists Gordafarid, Afshin Mofid, Ida Saki, Miriam Peretz, and Moshkin Ghalam as Sohrab.
At the core of the narrative is a love affair between a warrior and a beautiful princess from a neighboring kingdom. They spend one night together and conceive a son, Sohrab, who grows up to be an athlete and a renowned fighter. Sohrab and his biological father never meet until years later on the battlefield. The older man kills his son before realizing he has slain his own child, who dies in his arms.
Besides its reference to the myth, THE SCARLET STONE refers to the title of a book by Siavash Kasrai, a modern Iranian writer and activist who was forced to flee Iran after the fundamentalists gained power in 1979. The book testifies to Kasrai’s political disillusionment, filtered through an adaptation of the 10th century tale. The piece, an amalgam of ancient Persian mythology as rendered by Ferdowsi with Kasrai’s contemporary thinking, reflects on the disturbing aftermath of the overthrow of the Shah and the establishment of a hardline theocratic regime.
Access to the month-long online screening: https://tirgan.ca/event/the-scarlet-stone
The event is sponsored by Tirgan, the preeminent hub for Persian arts and culture in North America.