m o r n i n g   w o r k s h o p


M e h d i   F a r a j p o u r

E M P T Y   B O D Y

a   m e d i t a t i v e   d a n c e   l a n d s c a p e

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EMPTY BODY is a point where Dance, Theatre and Performance art come together with eastern philosophy including Persian poetry and Sufism. Therefore, the principle challenge for practitioners is to reach and perceive a state of emptiness, both in body and mind. In this way, the method becomes an endless personal research. This is pretty much the same idea as in Hinduism: reaching the Samadhi or concerning Dervishes, walking towards the state of Fana and further more, the same about Nirvana.

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Empty Body is based on several principles and concepts:

1
The main idea: In theatre, actors are supposed to host a new character in their body that is called "Role". In that case, the importance of a second character - Role - is bolder than the actor’s own character. But, dancers do not need to host a secondary character while performing. Furthermore, they even do not need to carry on their own character in their body/movement. Hence Empty Body is aiming at erasing personal characteristics of a dancer/performer.


2
Meditation in motion: This concept is mainly focused on the power of imagination as well as on meditation. In this case, «Body» is considered an object or a tool to be manipulated by a subject «Mind». The body becomes something to be carried, something to be danced with.

3
I and ego: Empty Body considers «Mind» as the foundation and «Body» as a construction. Here, a journey starts through meditation: a journey from I (ego) towards another I (without ego).

4
Persian Sufism: As mentioned earlier, Empty Body is inspired by Persian Sufism in the concept (e. g. believing in Transmogrification) rather than in the form & surface (physical movements). A Sufi’s aim is to get in both, mental & spiritual harmony with the universe. In this way, the body is a tool, not the target. This means that first it is the « Mind » which starts dancing and then the body follows.

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But what exactly is Empty Body? Empty Body is the most proper form of body. It is the purest form of being which does not carry any character or characteristics. An Empty Body can easily represent any element in our universe. It can remain stood up for years, or remain motionless for ages, it can breathe as the air and wave as the wind. Empty body starts with and from poetry, followed by meditation in movement.

Through the workshop participants learn basic lessons of creating choreographies and their own body language. Cyclic Yoga (20 min) is Empty Body’s warming up method.

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Paris based Iranian choreographer, MEHDI FARAJPOUR, known mainly as a conceptual performance artist began as a theatre and dance artist. His artistic career covers many fields such as Poetry, Plastic art, Dance, Photography, Video and Theatre. He is the Artistic director and main choreographer of Oriantheatre Dance Company and founder and director of Paris Summer Academy. He is the author and translator of several books including poetries, theatre plays and initiator of a body-mind training method called Monk-Performers. For many years he has regularly collaborated with international dance and theatre companies and festivals around the world. In 2008 he won the prize for the best modern choreography and creative music for his show "Suddhalayiadi", a collaboration with Indian Bharatanatyam dancers, at the 26th International Theatre Festival of Iran. At the end of 2008, he got a grant from Hooyong Performing Arts Centre to create a play in South Korea as part of the Artist in Residence Programme. 2009 brought him another grant for creation, titled Orient and Europe, in Poland. In 2010, he was chosen and invited to be part of the jury at the International Theatre Festival in Minsk, Belarus. In the summer of 2011, he was awarded the Best Director prize for his performance "Beckett" and 2013 brought him the Best performance award for "etc, etc." by the 19th International Theatre festival PUF (Croatia). In 2015, he received the same prize from PUF festival, for a new performance called "yet untitled". The countries where he has been most frequently performed or taught are India, Poland, South Korea, France, Turkey, Spain, Sweden, Belarus, Croatia, Norway and Finland

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