FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tamar Fortgang 323 791 4191
21 September 2005
Only Sound Remains -
An Evening at the Intersection of Art and Humanity
Los Angeles-Persian Arts Society presents Only Sound Remains, a night that fuses Persian
poetry with music, dance, and digital imagery. Based on the poetry of Forough Farrokhzad,
this interdisciplinary theater event using cutting edge technology is conceived and directed
in collaboration with British choreographer Yolande Snaith; Danish digital artist and
animator Vibeke Sorensen; and Iranian-American composer Shahrokh Yadegari. Only Sound
Remains premieres in Los Angeles for one night only on Friday, November 18, 2005, at 8 p.m.
Only Sound Remains is a poetic synthesis of sound, movement, text and images that
journeys through the emotional, imaginative and philosophical terrain of Farrokhzad's
writings and will feature the performances of the renowned world music vocalist Azam Ali,
and the violin virtuoso Keyavash Nourai. Composer Yadegari's music is featured throughout
the two acts, offering a richness of cultural themes with a highly contemporary aesthetic
and technological innovation. Inspired by the poet, the music then fueled creative
impulses for choreographic and visual creation. "We wanted to take the text off the
page and onto the stage, and make it come to life, " says Yadegari, "thus expanding
even further the boundlessness of Farrokhzad's poetry." In the first part of the evening,
the images and music are structurally improvised. Informed by the concept of ecology, each
piece of the production - from the musicians to the visual artist is working collaboratively
and equally, rather than hierarchically. In the second part of the piece, the musicians,
dancers and narrative weave a common poetic language. Snaith says, "Through working
choreographically in response to Farrokhzad's writing, my preoccupation has been to evolve
a poetic language of movement that is both derived directly from the poetry, but also grows
into a moving poetry all its own."
One of only a handful of women who gained renown during the past 2,500 years of Persian
literary history, Forough Farrokhzad (1935-1967) demonstrated a unique tenacity in striving
for artistic freedom and individuality. Farrokhzad was a maverick, both in her poetry and in her
life and lives on as an inspiration to many who are familiar with her writing. She gave voice to
women in a society struggling with change while her later poetry began to address broader issues
of human rights and the environment.
Almost fifty years later, her words are strikingly relevant to today's world and the perilous
state of its ecology. "The scale of the imbalance and destruction of nature and humanity is
now so great, so out of control. When we are out of balance with nature, we are out of harmony
with ourselves," says Sorensen, who has created moving paintings from digital photographs of
built and natural sacred spaces around the world.
Snaith, artistic director of Yolande Snaith Theatredance, had an innate identification with
the feminine humanity of Farrokhzad's philosophical thought and poetic expression. "The primary
theme for us as collaborators is ecological; an urgent desire to voice our concern to nurture
our planet rather than continue to destroy it."
A first-time collaboration by Snaith, Sorensen and Yadegari, the production ensemble includes
Costume Designer Paloma Young, Lighting Designer Thomas Ontiveros, Projection Designer
Tara Knight, and features performances by Azam Ali, Keyavash Nourai, Eva Barnes, Shahrokh
Yadegari, and Yolande Snaith Theatredance.
Only Sound Remains performs on Friday, November 18, 2005, 8 p.m., at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre
(JAT): 244 South San Pedro Street, downtown Los Angeles. Ticket prices range from $45-$20.
(Running time 2 hours, one intermission.) For tickets, call the JAT box office, 213.680.3700
(Hours 12-5 p.m., Mon.-Sat.) For complete event information, visit www.onlysoundremains.com.
Only Sound Remains is made possible by generous grants from the University of California,
San Diego Academic Senate and the Hellman Foundation.
Persian Arts Society is renewing its long history of presenting the finest performances
of Persian traditional music with a new commitment to innovative productions embracing
critical approaches toward artistic production and social awareness. For more information,
Visuals available upon request.
For media inquiries call Tamar Fortgang 323 791 4191