Garden of Lila
Garden of Lila, a part of the Only Sound Remains projcct, uses excerpts form poems by Forough Farrokhzad. The music score is based of the multi-channel version of the published work Migration with choreography of Yolande Snaith.
Aratani/Japan America Theatre
Nov. 18, 2005
‘Garden Of Lila’ attempts to create a poetic synthesis of sound, movement, words and images that journeys through the emotional, imaginative and philosophical terrain of Forough Farrokhzad writings. One of only a handful of women who gained renown during the past 2,500 years of Persian literary history, Forough Farrokhzad (1935-1967) demonstrated a unique tenacity in striving for artistic freedom and individuality. Farrokhzad was a maverick, both in her poetry and in her life; she gave voice to women in a society struggling with change, and her later poetry began to address broader issues of human rights and the environment. Due to her commitment to her art and her focus on the feminine, Forough suffered exceedingly in hostile critical, social and literary environments. In spite of these obstacles, she maintained her faith in her words and her hope for a better future.
Forough’s writing has become a vehicle in this performance for the artists to find their own voices and to collaborate with other artists who feel similarly. Forough believed that the “summit of all forces is union,” and that “we can take the garden to the hospital.” Listening to her words, the artists hope that by creating works in close collaboration with others sharing similar sensitivities that they can communicate among each other and with their audiences about nurturing the environment within which we live.
‘Garden of Lila’ employs a cross-discipline approach, with choreography to music that is pr-erecorded, yet created through a live structured improvisation, with animation used as a moving backdrop. The dance seeks to evolve a poetic language of movement, gesture, rhythm, spatial configurations and theatrical imagery that is both derived directly from the poetry of Forough, while also growing into a moving poetry all its own.
Poetry of Forough Farrokhzad used in
Garden of Lila
Excerpted From: I Pity the Garden
No one thinks of the flowers
No one thinks of the fish
No one wants to believe
that the garden is dying
its heart swollen under the sun
its mind draining of green memories
and its senses rotting in seclusion
Our garden is lonely.
Waiting for an offering from an unknown rain cloud
Our garden is lonely
Our pond is empty.
I fear an age that has lost it heart
I am frightened
by the thought of so many futile hands
by the image of so many estranged faces
I think that we can take the garden to a hospital
And the garden’s heart is swollen under the sun
And its mind is slowly draining of green memories
Excerpted From: Terrestrial Verses
Then the sun grew cold
and blessings left the land
grass dried in the fields
fish withered in the seas
and from then on the ground refused its dead.
no one thought about love anymore
no one thought about greatness anymore
and no one thought about anything anymore
what endless emptiness
the sun was dead
and no one knew that the sad dove
escaped from their hearts
was called faith
Excerpted From: Only Sound Remains
Why should I stop? why?
The birds have gone in search of waterfronts
The horizon is vertical
The horizon is vertical and its movement fountain-like
And gleaming stars orbit at the limits of sight
The earth multiplies in the sky
Linking tunnels weave through the turbulent air.
Why should I stop? why?
From: Only Sound Remains
The summit of all forces is union
Fusing with the sun’s bright essence
Flowing into light’s reason
It is natural that windmills fall
Why should I stop?
I will gather young sheaves of wheat
And nurse them
under my breast
sound, sound, sound, only sound
the sound of plant’s outstretched longing to grow
the sound of water’s lucid desire to flow
the sound of starlight pouring on soil’s feminine skin
the sound of the conception of meaning
and the shared mind of expanding love.
sound, sound, sound, only sound remains