House of Strength
A performance about the power of connection, inspired by an ancient Persian tradition.
After a series of impressive solos, Roshanak Morrowatian now presents her first group production. House of Strength is a spiritual, physical, and musical performance where the versatility of man is celebrated. The choreography transforms an ancient ritual, originally from Persia, into contemporary inclusive dance that celebrates the power of the collective.
Traditionally, the Varzesh-e bastani (old or traditional sport) or Varzesh-e Pahlevani (heroes sport) in Iran is performed in an arena in the Zurkaneh, which literally means ‘House of Strength’. The aim of the ritual is to become a better person by a combination of power training, spirituality, poetry, and music. It is performed exclusively by men in public.
In House of Strength, five female, male and queer performers take over. They transform a gymnastically one-sided tradition into a compelling physical expression of inclusive contemporary dance. In harmony, the dancers encourage each other in who they are and also celebrate the power of the collective.
‘..we often forget that tradition, too, is always being made and remade. Tradition is fluid, it is always being constituted. Tradition is about change.’ - Madan Sarup, 'Identity, culture and the postmodern world'
photo © Afagh Morrowatian
June 17, 2023
Meervaart - Amsterdam (Nl) - 08:30pm