This is the first of a series of documentaries
HamletZar – First Cut – was shown at the Barbican Center during the two-day conference HamletZar: Dissection,in conclusion of the first phase of the HamletZar project; Anthropology thereat of the Grotowsky school mixed with text of the Hamlet and the Zar cerimony of the East.
This first cut is about the first phase, of the HamletZar project (August 2008 through February 2010)
focused on developing the structure of the project, training the associate artists
and setting the initial framework for research, shaping the principal ideas of HamletZar.
HamletZar is a multi-disciplinary, multi-phase cultural project that looks to create a meeting point between European and Middle Eastern theatre traditions, between Elizabethan theatre and Middle Eastern Zar, a healing ritual incorporating music and dance, which is practiced by possession cults in southern Iran and throughout the region. Shakespeare’s use of the ghost or spirits as a dramaturgical tool to externalize Hamlet’s thoughts is echoed in Zar, which aims to cure the sick by possessing them with “spirits” that then speak the patient’s hidden wishes, restoring health and balance. HamletZar allows these two traditions to meet, facilitating an encounter between worlds and an opportunity for healing and exchange. This project is inspired by the experience of Goossun Art-illery’s founder and artistic director, Vahid, who fled harsh censorship in Iran in 2001 and settled first in Denmark as a refugee.