WEYBURN – A unique combination of dance, theatre and storytelling will be used to relate the story of Marina Nemat, based on her book, “Prisoner of Tehran”, for the upcoming performance of the Weyburn Concert Series on Wednesday, April 5.
The production is a collaboration between Nemat and the Motus O Dance Theatre based in Ontario.
The story is a true-life tale of how Nemat grew up in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution occurred in 1979, she was arrested at the age of 16, and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran.
She was tortured during her incarceration and came very close to being executed. Nemat came to Canada in 1991 and called it home ever since. She published her book, Prisoner of Tehran, in 2007, and a follow-up book, After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed, in 2010.
She regularly speaks at high schools, universities and conferences around the world.
Her book has become an international bestseller, published in 28 countries, and she received the inaugural Human Dignity Award in 2007 from the European Parliament. In 2008, she received the prestigious Grinzane Prize in Italy, and was an Aurea Fellow at the University of Toronto in 2008-09, where she wrote her second book.
The MOTUS O Dance Theatre founders, Cynthia and James Croker, and Jack Langenhuizen, met Nemat at an arts conference and were deeply taken with her story, and they contacted her with an idea to tell her story with movement.
The name of the theatre, Motus O, is Latin for “the method of movement.” The artistic directors said of the name, “We want to know the meaning of every movement, and to move as if it has meaning.”
Their thought was not to dance her story, but to use movement to illustrate her storytelling, and they decided that Marina would be a performer in the piece. They felt it important to hear Marina tell the story, and see her tell it, for a piece that combines the spoken word, movement, video and music.
“The Prisoner of Tehran” has toured much of Canada, including performances to over 10,000 high school students.
The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer time with the artists and dancers.