CROWN/تاج – New Dance Production on Displacement at The Old Electric

Director Maria Tarokh and Company Scheherazade are delighted to announce that the UK’s first dance production combining contemporary dance and classical Persian dance is coming to The Old Electric this February.
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Join us on a journey to find home. CROWN/تاج is the UK’s first touring production combining classical Persian dance, contemporary dance, and Sufi movement to tell a story of displacement, identity, and body sovereignty to an original soundtrack of live classical music and electronica.

Using Persian miniatures, lived experience and the poetry of Forough Farrokhzad, the 3 lead dancers take the audience on a journey from determination through struggle to release. Finding courage, resilience, and joy along the way. It is the first time in the UK that classical Persian dance is performed in this way and the first time that this genre of dance is performed at the participating venues.

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CROWN is a celebration of the transformation which takes place when we realise home is within ourselves.

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CROWN//تاج

Directed by Maria Tarokh (of NDP Circus and Totnes Festival) with costume design by Iola Weir and sound design by Somin Griffin-Dave. The production features music by Iranian-American producer, ASADI and classical Persian music composed and performed by Ala Zarei and Anis Alichi. Dance Artists are Ayesha Fazal (of Move Manchester & Sonia Sabri Company), Regine Phua (of Northern School and Akram Khan) and Ghazal Seidi (of Rambert School).

CROWN/تاج is a manifestation of female strength; it is an opportunity to RECLAIM what we lose through displacement. It encourages audiences to rethink and re-imagine how they see displaced female bodies. It incorporates a sound installation and original musical score featuring electronica and classical Persian music.

Director Maria Tarokh said: “CROWN/تاج was created to challenge the narrative around refugees and asylum seekers, to challenge people’s perceptions of home. It’s also an opportunity to show the beauty of Iranian culture, which so often gets left out of the news. CROWN is a way for us to share these art forms – which rely on us to keep them alive – classical Persian dance being illegal in Iran. Above all, this show is a tribute to the joy, strength & resilience that all displaced people give to the world.”

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Classical Persian dance is illegal in Iran. Women cannot sing or dance in public. CROWN breathes life into this genre and shows how powerful it can be as a storytelling tool.

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CROWN//تاج

CROWN has a focus on the Iranian diaspora as the piece uses genres culturally specific to Iran, which are currently banned and illegal in the Islamic Republic. We breathe life into dance forms to help keep them alive and bring them to new audiences. CROWN is not made by women currently involved in the revolution in Iran, and it does not attempt to depict this.

It is made in solidarity with the people of Iran, and it explores themes relevant to the situation.

The performance is live on Friday 23 February at The Old Electric in Blackpool. Tickets are £8 and can be bought at theoldelectric.co.uk or at the venue.