sacrifice while lost in salted earth
What does sacrifice mean in today's society?
Using the sounds of the ancient Iranian Tambour played live by Arash Moradi and 8 dancers from Iran now living and working all over Europe, choreographer Hooman Sharifi uses the revolutionary Le Sacre du Printemps from 1913 and Iranian language and music as inspiration to tell a story of small everyday sacrification. The Iranian translates the spring sacrifice of the past into the present. What is the meaning of sacrifice in our, in many ways, challenging times?
Run time 90 minutes
Location Internationaal Theater Amsterdam
Venue Grote Zaal
After talk Wednesday 6 July with Hooman Sharifi
Sacrifice While Lost in Salted Earth
Collective sacrifice, a death ritual.
What can sacrifice mean today? Can sacrifice be regarded as a poetic act, an everyday event that happens in everyone’s life? What would it mean to sacrifice yourself, either collectively or individually?
Six dancers, one musician, one ancient three-stringed instrument, and the audience. Together, we awaken thoughts, memories and we create stories. The performance unfolds through the movements of the dancers who each bring traces of their individuality and artistic work into Hooman Sharifi’s piece. Every individual takes an independent place and performs their own physical sacrifice.
With time, the dancers’ physicality, their breath, and the presence of you the public, a creature greater than our individuality is created; a sense of community built on a willingness to sacrifice and meet the other.
To music from the tambura, an ancient instrument played live by Arash Moradi, this incredible team of dancers create a collective body that holds sacrifice as an everyday act. Like the dancers in this production, Hooman Sharifi’s background is also Iranian. He is a prominent dance artist in Norway and internationally.
Hooman Sharifi about 'Sacrifice While Lost in Earth'
"In Sacrifice While Lost in Salted Earth, we have taken inspiration from Farsi language, poetry and the traditional sound of the tambura, but also from Igor Stravinsky’s iconic work, the Rite of Spring.
In the main language of Iran, Farsi, we frequently use the expressions janam (my life), ghorbanet beram (Let me sacrifice myself for you) and fadat sham (I want to die for you) in everyday conversations in various contexts. In Persian poetry, dying from love or going mad because of it tend to be celebrated as the high points of a person’s life.
I have thought a lot about whether there are parallels to these concepts in Norwegian language/culture, and the nearest I get is the Early Norwegian dugnad, which means a kind of community work. It might not sound as dramatic or poetic as the Iranian version but I love the way individuals practice standing together, working together and sacrificing themselves for a common good.
Dance and music have always been and still are a major part of Iranian culture. Dance is present in many social and everyday contexts despite the restrictions imposed on dancing in public.
We are very lucky to have with us the incredible musician Arash Moradi, who has an enormous understanding of and respect for the tambura and its tradition. He is also extremely open, and has the ability to experiment and find new ways. For four months, Arash and I have been developing the music for this production. We have travelled back and forth, up and down with Stravinsky’s music and all the opportunities presented to us by the rich traditions of the tambura.
In today’s society, we propose a collective sacrifice where everyone sacrifices themselves as an independent choice. If sacrifice is going to work today, the ones sacrificing have to make the decision for themselves. Sacrifice is a constant. You do not sacrifice yourself to death but you continually sacrifice something of yourself in life."
Theaterkrant, about The Dead Live On In Our Dreams, 2019
'A layered performance that connects the personal with the cultural and the political. The integrity with which this is done is a pleasant counterpoint to all possible simplifications of cultural identity.'
Theaterkrant, about While They Are Floating (Julidans, 2018)
'In While They Are Floating, Sharifi does not lose himself in dramatic illusions, liberating fiction or a political reveille. He uses the stage as a game board, where the dramatic nature of the political facts take shape without staging a battle between supporters and opponents and where the characters could be anyone.'
choreography, light and direction Hooman Sharifi
music Arash Moradi
with Hooman Sharifi, Ali Moini, Ehsan Hemat, Tara Fatehi, Armin Hokmi, Rosa Moshtaghi
with support from the Norwegian Embassy
production Impure Company
coproduction Festival Montpellier Danse 2022, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Julidans (Amsterdam), Dansenshus (Oslo)