2005 Garden of Lila

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 (Full Performance) from Shahrokh Yadegari on Vimeo.

‘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

I think

I think

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