Izumi Ashizawa Performance

Haoma and the Warrior

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photo by Kyodo News

Japan Times and Kyodo News article, June 18, 2011

Japanese stages event in Tehran for quake victims

Kyodo

TEHRAN — Japanese stage director Izumi Ashizawa and Iranian actors put on a mime based on Avesta, an ancient Persian scripture of the indigenous religion Zoroastrianism, for two days through Thursday in Tehran to help survivors of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

"I hope to do at least something to help the disaster survivors," said Ashizawa, a renowned artist who is active in the United States. Part of the box-office revenue will be donated to disaster survivors.

"I liked the blend of body movements characterized by (the essence of) Iranian myth and Japanese tradition," said Leila Ghandehari, a local artist who watched the show.

Ashizawa staged a theatrical adaptation of the Shahnameh, a Persian national epic, in Tehran in 2007 and that led to the performance of a new show this week.

Ashizawa also wants to thaw frosty relations between Iran and the United States, where she lives. Relations have worsened due to Tehran's ongoing nuclear quest.

She said Americans are quite prejudiced against Iran, but that she wants to eliminate such prejudice through her theatrical work.

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