In praise of words

A performance art piece
written and directed by Ali Ettehad
Whit 366 Performing Arts Group 


This work is a performance art piece, consisting of fifteen young male and female performers who are located in different parts of a Persian garden. They are wearing similar outfits and are sitting, standing or lying alone or in groups of two. Each of them has a booklet and a bell. All of the performers are dressed in a similar outfit. Some performers are dual and some are sitting, standing or lying alone. As soon as an audience passes by one of them, the performer rings his or her bell and tries to attract that audience. After the audience has settled somewhere near the performer; The performer tries to pronounce a sound; For example, the sound of “O”. He makes this sound as if someone is trying to speak for the first time. The performer not talking but using his mouth and hands tries to get the audience to repeat the sound. Little by little, that sound finds a sequence and becomes a word. A word made in this way can be from a living or dead language; However, all words will be from the Indo-European family of languages. At the same time, another independent and moving performer is involved in this performance piece; who guides the audience and also visits each and every performer in the garden. Whenever all the performers were able to pronounce a word related to themselves; The guiding performer carries them to the center point and forms a large circle. At this time, the words are pronounced one by one and a long sentence will be made. This sentence is composed of words belonging to different languages. When that long sentence was said; The “guide performer” will pronounce the Persian translation of that sentence and then claps. The other performers, who hear the “guide performer” clapping, ring their bells and return to their position.

This woman is the mentor of this performance. She can be interpretated as a writer. She walks in the garden and interacts with the whole stage, the performers and the audience one by one. She is the one who shapes the whole play.

The performers will keep ringing their bells as they return to their positions. This run will take three or four hours to run the entire text.

It should be noted that most European languages, Iranian languages (Persian, Balkhi, Kharazmi, Pahlavi, etc.), non-Semitic languages of the Middle East and Indian languages are all from the family of Indo-European languages. Three billion and four hundred million people in the world today speak one of the languages of this great language family. Languages that are all rooted in a single language.

O word, you are the beginning and O pen you are the way. 
Sleep, awakens, light, darkness, breath, suffocation, death, birth, pleasure, agony, human, non-human; O Word, whatever is and what is not; It’s all in you! 
You are the fire and you are what is burned. You are peace and you are war!
From the height of deliverance to the depths of hell; You are the one who shapes everything.
You are the only boundless field; Do you know?
(You are the lone always a runner.) You are the only one who is always running; Do you know?
(You are the lone opened wing) You are the wing that is always flying; Do you know?
You are generous; You know?
You are a charm; Do you know?
you are the word and the oath!
However, you are both silence and the beginning of speech.
Even when I’m not saying anything; It’s you who said, “I’m not saying anything.”

The official poster of the show designed by Ashkan Galedari 

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