Meeting With Vis
This short film is based on the theatrical production of Vis and Ramin, directed by Arby Ovanessian (1942-) at the fourth Shiraz Arts Festival in Persepolis in 1970. The original single performance, which dramatized a 12th-century Persian love story, was staged before the backdrop of ancient Persepolis, where the perpetual lovers Vis and Ramin came to life and discovered each other once again. The actors appeared and disappeared among the outdoor ruins, stairs and columns of Persepolis throughout the performance. The two-hour long story of forbidden love progressed in synchronization with the changing daylight, following the setting sun and motion of the stars. The epic story, the dramatic plot and the timeless place all came together to create a wholeness in an ephemeral experience.
Meeting with Vis Here and Now is a contemporary free-fluid reading of Ovanessian’s Vis and Ramin, beginning where the original production ended. At the end of the 1970 performance, Vis walked out of sight into the ruins of Persepolis. This film calls her back after 51 years and extends her longing and tragic love, dramatizing her determination.
The fire in the film resonates deeply with the role of fire in Vis and Ramin as an embodiment of power. In the original play, Vis is challenged to prove her strength by passing through fire; but she refuses, insisting that the fire should prove its purity by passing through her. The fire’s purity is Vis’s purity, representing the lovers’ flaming desire. In Meeting with Vis Here and Now, the bodily and emotional expression of Vis embellishes her freedom, stillness and eternity. As the fiery sun sets in the snowy distance, Vis once again disappears into the horizon as an act of liberation.
Conception/Research: Negin Djavaherian
Director: Rojin Shafiei
Performer: Tina Bararian
Cinematography: Farzad Seraji
Bio of artists:
Negin Djavaherian is an independent scholar. She holds both professional and post-professional Master of Architecture. She also received a Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture from McGill University. Her doctoral thesis explored architectural potential and experience in the theatre of Peter Brook. She has conducted a series of interviews with Peter Brook, Arby Ovanessian, and Jean-Claude Carrière. She co-edited the book Architecture’s Appeal published by Routledge in 2015. She practiced architecture working on residential, cultural, and art centres. Presently, Negin is working as a design consultant for a private construction company in Toronto.
Rojin Shafiei is an Iranian interdisciplinary artist/filmmaker living and working in Toronto. Rojin received her BFA in Intermedia from Concordia University in 2017 and currently, she is an MFA candidate in Film Production at York University. She has screened her work internationally in various festivals. In 2019 she was the Venice Lands Art Prize candidate in Treviso, Italy and she won the grand prize of Startupfest/Artupfest section in July 2018 for her piece “I wait for the time.”
Tina Bararian is an award-winning dancer and performer. She holds a BA in Film Studies, and she is currently enrolled in Dance BFA at York University. She is trained in ballet, modern dance and acrobat. Since 2012 she has been working on dance and film projects.
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Theatres of Architectural Imagination Frascari Symposium V