Upcoming shows & events

LETHE – Dancing on The Edge Festival
14 November 17 – Amsterdam
16 November 17 – Utrecht
17 November 17 – Rotterdam
Tickets: https://dancingontheedge.nl/projects/cafe-lethe

IETM Plenary Meeting
22 – 26 November 17 – Brussels
https://www.ietm.org/en/brussels

Dance Congress – Maqamat Dance Theater
27 – 29 November 17 – Beirut

PRELUDE – No Body Festival 
2 December 17 – Lefkosia
http://www.dancehouselefkosia.com/

KAHKESHAN Residency [with Anotnia Steffens]
4 – 31 December 17 – Tehran

Untiltled – Paradise 3.0 co>labs + Tafelhalle
14 – 21 January 18 – Nuremberg
https://www.colabs.de/kopie-von-trouble-in-paradise

Gnossienne: No. 1

The cup I dropped
The water spilled.

Made me think of
When it brimmed;

Pink of yours
And all azure

Golden rays
In hazel locks.

Fingers played
But also Layed;

Love upon this lust,
Breeze upon this soul.

The cup I dropped
And nothing spilled;

Made me think of
When we poured.

Brimmed and rimmed
And rummaged

Poured until
Devoured.

29 September 2017

 

 

 

Lethe | An ode to oblivion & pain

letheSimply because this was one of the most intensely significant experiences of my life, I thought about sharing parts of it with you.

The journey began back in 2013 with constant echoes of these thoughts: What is movement? Do I know my body? Do I belong to this realm? Why am I doing this? What are we all trying to achieve? Is this a need or perhaps just another way to be?

My first inspiration for movement was the Greek myth of Poseidon. Coming from the world of Literature, I had already countless images from the God of the Sea and the dark world he’s associated with. I delved into this world of darkness and duality and it was already too late to detach from this Underworld of “concealment”.

The next assignments was to delve into dark moments of my childhood, to dig deep through the repression, touch upon the complexes and experience these notions through movement. At the time, the intention behind it all was simply to be part of this fascinating world that is expression through embodiment, but then came severe moments of ache and outflow of mindful pain. This felt so intense on my soul and I knew, if I were to keep moving in this path, I needed to remain aware, alert and awake.

Days passed by, weeks, bruises, months (twenty one to be precise!)

What happens to us when we go through such long periods of creative engagement in a piece that deals with so much darkness? A gloom that is projected from the reality of our actual dailiness; our daily life. This was on my mind time and again throughout the intensity. Were we simply reflecting the shadows or were we at least retaining some light, some shimmering hope?

The piece faced rejection last January when it was performed it in front of the jury that decides on permissions for Fajr International Theater Festival where we had initially hoped for the show to premier. I can just recall a certain feeling of awe and emptiness when this occurred. For us not to be able to share this extensive process with an actual audience after a little under two years of constant effort in communicating something that needed to be communicated was extremely discouraging and like a wet slap in the face.

We had to take all the pain, all the repression which was already out, back inside, down to the Underworld where it had come from and put a lid on it all for god only knew how long. To repress the repressions was a rather challenging experience. There was a one year gap in which many things happened; people’s paths diverged far from that of one another as well as from Lethe and we became victims of the forgetfulness we had started with; only this time, the object had become us.

When I got a call from our director, Atefeh Tehrani, about the possibility of the show going on the most renowned theater venue of Tehran (City Theater of Tehran) late summer, I had a very hard time saying yes to still being part of it. I was not sure if I would want to go through the pain once more and re-live those emotions and let them flow through my limbs for over 30 consecutive nights! You see, in Tehran when you do a show, you do it for at least one month.

This meant, 30 nights of exposing some of the most intricate wounds of childhood to a general public, hoping for healing powers in drama to nurse these wounds and transfer the positive through the pain. It ultimately became a state of being, an intention for movement.

There were other aspects to this project which made it impossible to say no to, despite the severe mental and physical pressure which it entailed. The fact that it was a particularly “physical” piece that normally doesn’t make it to a public stage in Tehran would be number one.

The fact that this director had not been able-due to circumstances-to create for over 5 years and that this made Lethe a great contribution to the avant-garde presence of drama in Tehran was number two.

The fact that THIS is considered a certain point in a certain collective map in a certain timeline is number three.

And last, the fact that a collective mind had put their souls, sweat and blood in creating something which had been imagined at some point, by the same collective mind and needed to live its life.

Lethe became a resting place for all the tension, tears and trouble. The forgetfulness helped me remember that there are so many reasons to stay alive and live among the living. I no longer feel forgotten nor forgetful.

Lethe helped me remember.

January 2017

Ganymede

Your thoughts of thanatopsis-
Exuberance, fatigue,
Go gather in a bundle; many-toned.

On a day-not far from this-
Hoist it unfurled-
A thousand-colored, many-pieced sail.

Set out to the sea, Ulysses.
To the wind and-
Sail away.

Move with the wind and Lay.
Make love with the wind and sow.
Stay with the wind, Give all!

Let the breeze-
Be sieved in through your cells,
Leave you absolutely light.

Bare-feet,
Upon the surface-
Of the ocean.

No fear,
No death,
Begrudged.

For barefoot were we born;
In every bivouac-
Renamed:

To our pain,
Our deprivation,
Our love and to our tears.

Each time-
Emerges a new air,
Man afresh.

To walk with death-
With none of dread.
Shamelessly disrobed.

December 2015

Composed in Farsi by Minoo Abtahi, Recreated in English by Sina Saberi

Death

The monster is my friend,
Byronic hero is my love,
All filth I can behold;
And desires I can quench.

My sympathy for lust,
This schizophrenic love,
All tendency for bile-
Feels far from bizarre.

Eccentric is my name;
I’ve accepted me that way.
Except for one or two-
Of my many many selves.

I’m the liar whom to eyes-
Of yours does lie with ease.
I’m the angel who has wings-
You can’t see; it’s very dark.

I’m a thief, your trust I steal-
The moment that you blink.
I’m the masked man-
A plentiful of masks!

I’m selfish as narcissus,
And lonely as a cloud-
Whose fate is buried deep-
In Poseidon’s darkened realm.

I’m the magic that there is;
In drops of blood & waxing moons.
I’m the ominous attendant-
Of this epoch of beguile.

This life of mine, this lie-
It’s time I threw in fire.
This me on end I’ve dragged-
It’s time I dropped and died.

It’s a legacy of awe,
Forgetfulness of fish.
It’s piracy of hope,
It’s not real, nor is it not.

July 2015

Disciple

These stories-
Have been told.
That-
Let’s not forget.

These questions-
Have been asked
Though truly-
Never answered.

Much lie-
Has been told;
And retold-
And believed.

The eyes-
Have deceived,
Been deceived,
Looked away.

Thoughts-
Have been read,
Beread and-
Bereft.

Hearts-
Yet have ached;
Been pained-
And paroled.

The story-
Has been told.
Of love-
In hearts of gold.

They laugh-
And they scorn;
What they-
Haven’t ever known.

It’s not-
For everyone to feel;
Even though-
It’s very simple.

You may feel-
Or have it ample.
You might falter-
And be gone.

Inner balance-
Shall be practiced.
Something new-
That I can preach?

Keep it real.
Oh what a sentence!
It deludes,
Only deludes.

We don’t truly know-
Each other,
One another-
And ourselves.

We are strangers
We’re unheard of,
We are aliens,
Unknown!

You don’t know me.
You don’t know you.
I know nothing.
We know none.

Maybe one thing-
In common-
Have we all…
Collective truth?

That fact that-
We need peace.
The truth beneath-
The promise.

The tale that-
Love is real.
Even though-
It does beguile.

Is that something that’s-
Been told?
Or retold?
Or never told?

Autumn 2017

 

Ooze

Time to leave
A distant promise

Holding thoughts of-
What there was

Clinging not to-
Traces…

What there was-
It merely was

A candle though in awe
I see fire, searing sun

Our meeting place was-
The cobweb

Interwoven threads
Of one

It shrinks right now
It fades

Drooping in the skies
‘We sag’ you say, we hang

We float in flowy matter
One touch, we fly away

It’s real though
Is it not?

The promise of-
The touch.

It burns though
Does it not?

Oozing fires-
Of the sun.

April 2015