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Articles, Essays, Volume 5

Development of Diegetic Practices in Iranian Indigenous Performances: A Historical View

Development of Diegetic Practices in Iranian Indigenous Performances: a Historical View
By Mohammad J. Yousefian Kenari and Parastoo Mohebbi
Arab Stages, Volume 5, Number 1 (Fall, 2016)
©2016 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publication

Performance Traditions and Narrative Practices in Ancient Persia 

Persian performance dates back to the centuries before the rise of Islam. It is assumed that ritual ceremonies are the right starting point to discuss on the roots of performance in Iran. Popular rituals such as Soug-e Siavash (Mourning for Siavash, a mythic Prince) and Kin-e Iradj (Revenge of Iradj, a mythic King), the oral epics collected and remained from antique literary texts like Shah-Name (Book of The Kings), are generally recognized as the historical bases from which developed the earliest arrangements of regular social gatherings later called Majles (A Meeting of the Folks). These took place each year at a given time and place. Due to Islamic restrictions for portraying atheistic icons and demonic figures, these meetings disappeared and were at last totally transformed into a type of religious assembly, particularly after the dominance of Shiite sectarianism in the settled territories, approximately between 600 and 800 A.D.

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