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House of Strength

Roshanak Morrowatian

"...we often forget that tradition, too, is always being made and remade. Tradition is fluid, it is always being constituted. Tradition is about change."                                                                                                                                                             Madan Sarup, Identity, culture and the postmodern world

House of Strength is a spiritual, physical and musical performance by five female, female-identifying and queer performers. Five different performers in age and background, each with their own spiritual strength. Together in harmony, they celebrate the power of the collective.
The performance redefines an ancient ritual, originally from Persia, called Varzesh-e bastani (ancient sport) or Varzesh-e Pahlevani (heroic sport). It is performed in the Zurkhaneh, which literally means 'House of Strength'. This ritual is, visibly and openly, only performed by men and boys. It is a men's stronghold. Women sometimes perform it, but only among themselves and indoors. In her search for forgotten traditions and rituals, Iranian-born choreographer Roshanak Morrowatian has often encountered this imbalance between men and women and the complete dismissal of other genders.

In House of Strength, the audience is invited to celebrate the versatility of humanity together. We start from similarities instead of differences and opposites. A dynamic group that strengthens and encourages each other in who they are. In contrast to the traditional Zurkhaneh, in which the cis-men take centre stage, in House of Strength the women and queer performers take over and transform the gymnastic one-sided tradition into a rousing physical expression of inclusive contemporary dance.

next Performance

May 28, 2023

Korzo - Den Haag (Nl) - 07:30pm

Premiere Cadance Festival

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May 29, 2023

Korzo - Den Haag (Nl) - 07:30pm

Cadance Festival

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June 17, 2023

Meervaart Theater - Amsterdam (Nl) - 08:30pm

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