EMPTY BODY is practice initiated and developed by Mehdi Farajpour. Its goal is to lead the company's dancers towards a malleable presence both physically and mentally while performing. EMPTY BODY is inspired by Hinduism (SAMADHI - समाधि), Sufism (FANA - فقر و فنا), and Buddhism (Nirvana - निर्वाण).
EMPTY BODY is a movement and contemporary choreographic practice where the borders of Dance, Theatre, Performance & Poetry intertwine. The foundation of the method is inspired by the soul of Eastern Philosophy. The main goal of the Empty Body method is to reach a state of Emptiness in the mind as well as in the body. This is a similar goal as in Hinduism: SAMADHI (समाधि), or in Sufism: FANA (فقر و فنا) & in Buddhism: Nirvana (निर्वाण).
Empty Body is conceived based on several factors:
1) Theatre & Dance: In theatre, actors need to host a second character which is the role they are playing which very often has a much bolder importance in the show than the actor’s own personal character. Therefore they have to empty their body from any pre-existing characters, including their own. When it come to dance, dancers do not necessarily need to play any role, nor represent their own character in performance, thus calling for an emptying of their own pre-existing characteristics.
2) Meditation in Motion: This concept is based on the power of imagination and meditation while moving. The Body is considered an object or a tool to be controlled and moved by the Mind. The body, therefore, becomes something to be carried, something to be danced with. This requires separating Body and Mind (in opposition to the concept of BMC), in order to fully embrace the body as a tool to be used for movement.
3) Eastern Philosophy: As mentioned earlier, EMPTY BODY is inspired by some Eastern Philosophies, including the belief in Transmogrification, along others. Some Eastern Philosophies aim to perceive the meaning of life via the other elements: trees, stone, water, and so on. This path can’t be taken through imitation, but rather by becoming. It is throughout this journey that the EGO disappears, and one becomes no-one (empty).
What exactly is the EMPTY BODY?
The Empty Body is the purest state of being, which does not carry any character, nor any characteristics. It is simply a body. In other words, the Empty Body is a vessel which has the potential to represent any element, character, emotion, or state.
What to expect in an EMPTY BODY workshop:
The workshop begins with an introductory exploration into entering the Empty Body state of being. This includes investigations in organic breathing and meditating while moving. Participants then learn several innovative ways of moving, composing and choreographing, constantly building on this previously obtained Empty Body state. This can be done through animated images, visualising poetry (notation), living in an imaginary situation (absolute surrealism), following geometrical shapes, and intertwining them with various dimensions, rhythms, tempos, intensities, intentions and more.
Geometrical shapes, Unbalanced stability, Meditation in Motion, External power and the way it moves the body, Inner power and the way it moves the body, Rhythm & tempo of silence, Translating poetry into movement, Gravity transfer, Absolute surrealism, Animating a photo, Moving slowly (living) vs slow-motion (imitating), Falling (accidental) vs dropping of the body(purposeful), Three dimensional drawing in the space, Writing with the body, Random choreography (1 beat movements)
He began as a theatre and dance artist but now is considered a conceptual performance artist. His artistic career is covering various fields from Dance, Theatre, and Performance Art to the Video, Poetry, Installation Art...
He is the founder, choreographer and artistic director of the ORIANTHEATRE Dance Company. Farajpour began as a theatre and dance artist but now is considered a conceptual performance artist.
The artistic career of Mehdi Farajpour covers various fields from dance, theatre, and performance art to the video, sound, and installation art. He divides his time between creating shows for the company and teaching his movement method: EMPTY BODY.
Farajpour published his book, The Monk Performer in Tehran in 2008. The book consists of his theories about the Presence & Concentration.
Mehdi Farajpour is the program manager of PARIS SUMMER ACADEMY, an artistic educational program in partnership with the Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris.
Venues & Festivals where his shows & workshops have been invited: IMPULSTANZ festival (Vienna, Austria), PUF (Pula, Croatia), OPERA-PRIMA festival (Rovigo, Italy), Institut du Monde Arabes (Paris, France), Istrian National Theatre (Croatia), SOLO festival (Moscow, Russia), TESZT festival (Romania), CRICOTEKA (Tadeusz Kantor’s Museum in Krakow, Poland), Wroclaw National Art Museum (Poland), FIAT festival (Montenegro), SOMMERBLUTfestival (Cologne, Germany), MOHO festival (Perm, Russia), Contemporary Choreography festival (Omsk, Russia), Londrina Dance festival (Londrina, Brazil), Teatro Santa Isabel (Recife, Brazil), Kypria festival (Limassol & Nicosia, Cyprus), Asia Culture Center (Gwangju, South Korea), Teatro Libero Palermo (Italy) among others…
Most recently Farajpour was a 2021-2022 Resident artist at the Asia Culture Center (Gwangju, South Korea) and a 2020-2022 Guest choreographer for DIN A 13 tanzcompany (Köln, Germany). In 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2019 he received the Best Performance award for his performances: ETC ETC. YET UNTITLED, SUMMER COLLECTION BY MF & META from The Pula International Theatre Festival (Pula, Croatia). In 2011 he was awarded The Best Director Prize for his performance BECKETT (I END) at the International Theatre Festival of Lomza (Lomza, Poland). He received The Best Choreography and Creative Music for Suddhalaiyadi from 26th Tehran International Theatre Festival in 2008 (Tehran, Iran).