Hamid Rahmanian’s Song of the North

Origins Series

Friday – Sunday, March 24-26, 2023

Friday and Saturday – Doors 7 PM | Show 8 PM, Sunday – Doors 2 PM | Show 3 PM

Peter Norton Symphony Space – 2537 Broadway at 95th St, Manhattan

Tickets: $25 | $35 | $45

Hamid Rahmanian’s Song of the North

This dynamic, family-friendly production involving close to 500 handmade puppets is bursting with “breathtaking fireworks of creativity”  –  Le Monde. Song of the North is a mesmerizing large-scale, cinematic performance combining the manual art of shadow puppetry with projected animation. The narrative tells the courageous tale of Princess Manijeh who defies her powerful father to rescue her beloved, Bijan, and avert war between rival kingdoms in a show of brave determination echoed in the protests taking place in Iran today. Adapted from the Shahnameh (the Persian “Book of Kings” written over 1,000 years ago), Song of the North was created by 2014 Guggenheim Fellow Hamid Rahmanian, and the original music score is by celebrated Iranian composer Ramin Torkian, featuring vocalist Azam Ali.

Ensemble: Sam Jay Gold, Harrison Greene, Jenny Hann, Esme Roszel, Zack Perez, Sarah Walsh, Clay Westman, and Christopher Williams

About the Shanameh

The Shahnameh, a 1,000 year-old text, is still relevant today in the lives of the people of Iran who are fighting for their freedom.  Shahnameh (Book of Kings), unlike any other epic or world mythology is still in conversation with its own people and is referenced as inspiration on how people take to the streets, raise their voices, and protest tyranny. 

Since the uprising began in the fall of 2022, women began cutting their hair as an act of defiance and solidarity.  This act of rebellion dates back to the stories of the Shahnameh, where women cut their locks as a way to raise their voices against calamities that befell them and as act of grief. 

The characters in the epic poem have acted as inspiration for the people in the streets who put their lives on the line.  You can hear the chants of the people and the placards and the effigies referencing the heroes and heroines of Shahnameh, who fight oppressive and tyrannical rulers, some of whom are sacrificed and became martyrs. They inspire the struggle against the current regime. Shahameh, which embodies the soul of Iran and was suppressed for the past 40 plus years, has been rediscovered by the young people of Iran and has helped a new generation find its voice as they fight for Women, Life, Freedom. 

The ORIGINS series features artists who delve into the folklore and roots of their respective culture’s music to tell the story of their origins, preserving and affirming cultural identities and legacies