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1st March, 2017

Narges Hashempour: New Departures: new Iranian Theatre and Performance Art

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama - University of London

Event Details

1st March, 2017
18:30 - 20:30
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
62-64 Eton Avenue
London, Greater London, England NW3 3HY

In this talk, Narges Hashempour compares two historical periods of ‘theatrical interweaving’ in Iran’s modern theatre history.

Cultures adapt ‘foreign’ theatre conventions or traditions always in the context of their ‘own’ problems. Talking about processes of theatrical interweaving, it is very important to investigate the links between ‘theatre’, understood as cultural performances, and existing power structures in all societies involved in these processes of exchange.

The first historical period is the late 1960s and ’70s when huge changes were happening in the performing arts in the so-called “West” as well as in Iran. The second historical period is the ‘now’: Today, we are witnessing the growing of a ‘performative turn’ in contemporary theatre in Iran. Theatre is developing into inventing new body languages, experiments with performative aesthetics and is steadily taking over urban space. How can we describe its specificity? One defining feature of this turn is the constant creation of a tension between the literal meanings of spoken texts and the effects and affects brought forth by the embodied acts of the performers. And through the creation of this tension or conflict the ‘role’ of the audience is changing. It becomes ‘political’ – in a different way than it did in the 1960s and ’70s.

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