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Persia After Hours: Sholeh Wolpé (July 16, 2022)

December 5, 2022, in Videos > Arts, by

This performance, given in July 2022 at the Getty Villa Museum (USA) as part of its Persia After Hours series, is titled “The Seven Valleys”. It is based on Sholeh Wolpé’s interpretation and translation of “The Conference of the Birds” by 12th century Iranian Sufi mystic poet Attar.

Sholeh Wolpé a is a Baha’i Iranian-American poet, playwright, and librettist. Her literary work numbers over 12 books, several plays, an oratorio and a screenplay.

André Megerdichian is an Armenian-American choreographer who is on faculty at the University of South Carolina and is the Director of New Works for The Resonance Collective.

Fahad Siadat is an American composer and the artistic director of Resonance Collective and the vocal ensemble, HEX.

This performance is also based on their new movement-driven a cappella oratorio, “The Conference of the Birds”.

The original famous and well-known poem by Attar may be of interest as Baha’u’llah’s work, The Seven Valleys, is based on upon it and follows its structure and style. The seven valleys mentioned in Baha’u’llah’s text – the valleys of search, love, knowledge, unity, contentment, wonderment, and true poverty and absolute nothingness – are similar to the stages in Attar’s work, and Attar was an eminent Sufi. Sufis reading The Seven Valleys would have immediately recognized its form and been familiar with the narrative of traveling through seven different valleys in order to attain truth.

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Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.
Sonjel Vreeland

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