Reuters: A shadow play that combines puppetry, art and digital animation to tell an ancient Persian tale has delighted theater lovers at Beijing’s Tianqiao Performing Arts Center on Wednesday.
Titled “Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic”, the show is inspired by the 10th-century classic Persian epic “Shahnameh” and tells the legend of Zaul and Rudabeh, two star-crossed lovers of old Persia.
Zaul is raised by a mythical bird in the wild. His deep love for Rudabeh enables them both to triumph at the end against all odds.
The show employs eight actors, 160 puppets, 15 masks and costumes and 158 animated backgrounds, all of which come to life in a “live animation” on a cinema-size screen.
“It [the mask] has a lot of familiar elements like a Rapunzel, Romeo and Juliet and Jungle Book. So I thought I can introduce this story because it has some elements that people can relate to, it’s not very far away from what they have already heard in their culture,” said Rose Nisker, an actress.
The play was created and directed by award-winning filmmaker, Hamid Rahmanian, who was born and educated in Iran. To connect the general audience to the story, he added a lot of elements that are familiar to people across the world.
“It has a lot of familiar elements like a Rapunzel, Romeo and Juliet and Jungle Book. So I thought I can introduce this story because it has some elements that people can relate to, it’s not very far away from what they have already heard in their culture,” said Rahmanian.
Since its debut in New York in 2016, the show has been performed to sold-out crowds in cities including San Francisco, Chicago and Toronto.
Hamid says he wants to introduce Persian culture to the world through this show.
“Because I want to create a better view of Iranian and also the Islamic art, something more positive. Because everything in the news, especially in the West is negative about Iran and the Middle East. So I want to create something about the strength of our culture, which is the literature and visual tradition,” said Rahmanian.
The Iranian epic shadow play will be on show in Paris from December 8th to 16th at Musée du quai Branly.