Iranian Director Receives Italy's 2009 Puppet Festival Award

Monday, September 21, 2009

Active ImageIranian theater director Behrouz Qaribpour has been awarded at Italy's 2009 Arrivano dal Mare Puppet Festival, held in the city of Cervia.

Qaribpour received the event's Sirene d'Oro Prize for his contribution to the art of puppetry. He also held workshops on the sidelines of the festival, which ran from September 4 through September 8.

The Sirene d'Oro Prize has been presented to many prominent figures including Dario Fo, Tom Stoppard, Hoichi Okamoto, Renato Nicolini, Leoluca Orlando, Emanuele Luzzati and Margareta Niculescu.

Qaribpour also negotiated with the festival's artistic director Stefano Giunchi for joint research projects on Persian puppetry and Iran's Bald Hero puppet show.

"The project will be conducted in the city of Cervia, because it has a puppet theater museum as well as a puppetry school," Qaribpour said.

The 59-year-old director is also preparing to stage his Ashura puppet opera in Italy following an invitation by Rome's Quirino Theatre which is one of the best known, biggest and oldest theatres in the country.

Ashura blends music, poetry and action in a 'Ta'ziyah' (elegy) format, which is akin to the Christian passion plays.

The opera depicts the incidents leading to the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam and his followers on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram.

Qaribpour also referred to the warm welcome which his marionettes received during the festival, saying that they reminded Italian artists of their traditional marionettes which have been gradually fading away after the death of marionette puppeteer Vittorio Podrecca.

Behrouz Qaribpour is considered to be one of the pioneers of traditional Persian puppet theater, known for his extensive research on Qajar puppetry.

Macbeth and Rostam and Sohrab are among his better-known works.

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