Niloufar Talebi, Creator of the 'Persian Rite of Spring', to Debut 'Ātash Sorushān' at Carnegie Hall


Niloufar Talebi, Creator of the 'Persian Rite of Spring', to Debut 'Ātash Sorushān' at Carnegie Hall
by bitamg

Butterfly Buzz has announced that the world premiere of Ātash Sorushān (FireAngels), a libretto written by writer, theater artist, and award-winning translator, Niloufar Talebi, will take place at Carnegie Hall in New York on March 29, 2011, and its West coast premiere at Cal Performances in Berkeley on April 3, 2011.

Talebi premiered The Persian Rite of Spring to a sold out Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in March 2010. Commissioned by Farhang FoundationThe Persian Rite of Spring, written and performed by Talebi, brings to life the mythology, poetry, music, and folklore of Nowruz (new year), observed by millions, including Iranians, around the world. The newly-released DVD of The Persian Rite of Spring is currently available for purchase and will screen at the Samueli Theater at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in honorof Iranian New Year on March 12, 2011.

Her latest project, Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels), co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall,Cal Performances,and Meet the Composer, tells a story that builds bridges to greater understanding and invites reflection on a decade following September 11, 2001 – an event which ultimately inspired the creation of this work. The music for Ātash Sorushān is written by Mark Grey, and the soprano Jessica Rivera performs the piece. Conductor Donato Cabrera leads premiere performances.

“At its heart, Ātash Sorushān is a story about love and connection,” states Talebi. “My hope is that it will leave us wondering how a devastating event between two dominant forces can become a ground zero for love.” 

Ātash Sorushān draws upon various cultural elements, weaving ancient traditions of the East into modern and universal concerns of the present day. ‘Ātash’ is the Persian word for fire, an element essential to both destruction and renovation.In the Zoroastrian religion, 'Sorush' is a messenger angel, who presides over the beginning and end of the world, fighting against demons that threaten to extinguish the world's fire.

For more information on the artist and her works, please visit For more information on The Persian Rite of Spring, please visit

About Niloufar Talebi

Writer, theater artist, and award-winning translator, NiloufarTalebi was born in London to Iranian parents. She is the editor/translator of BELONGING:New Poetry by Iranians Around the World (North Atlantic Books, 2008), andthe creator/performer of multimedia projects, Four Springs (2004), MidnightApproaches (2006), ICARUS/RISE (2007), The Persian Rite of Spring(2010). She is the founding director of The Translation Project, anonprofit organization dedicated to presenting Iran-inspired projects. She isthe author of Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels). For more info visit:

Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) is a story aboutlove and connection. It tells the tale of two larger-than-life beings, Mana andAhsha, that dwell in separate realms, each convinced of their supreme power. Inan all out collision, as their outward and mighty facades crumble, atranscendent final movement begins with the realization that in our moments ofvulnerability, we are one. How can a devastating event between two dominantforces become a Ground Zero for love? How can we better understand our fellowhuman beings?

Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) draws upon variouscultural elements, weaving ancient traditions of the East into modern and universal concerns of the present day. Mana is the Oceanic and Persianterm for the divine life force that embodies everything, and Ahsha is anAvestan term for truth/existence in Zoroastriantheology. Fire, considered an agent of truth, is the physical domainof Ahsha, the divine archangel. While Mana and Ahsha are not personified intheir traditions, Niloufar Talebi re-imagined them as characters by marrying theirphilosophical concepts with human characteristics. In the title,“Atash” is the Persian word for fire, essential for the destruction andrenewal of Mana, Ahsha, and all they represent, while “Sorushan” is the plural form of “Sorush” (in the singular, the proper name of a messengerangel, like Gabriel, who presides over the beginning and end of the world andwho fights the daemons threatening to extinguish the world’sfire/passion/truth). Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels), refers to therole both Mana and Ahsha played out, angels with a message of purification andpeace, ending a world and beginning a new one. Mana and Ahsha begin under theassumption of difference, and through the power of transformation, end byrealizing their sameness. By humanizing them, each with their own equallymagnificent strengths and weaknesses, this piece explores the grey areas ofhistory in the reflection of our past decade.



more from bitamg