Dorr-e Dari, a mixture of poetry, theater and dance, is an invitation to attune to the millennial language of love, perfected by Persian mystical poets, such as Rumi and Hafez.

There is a charming and intimate vibe in the evening as we are welcomed into three lively tales of love and romance, performed by Mahdi Mohammadi, Jawad Yaqoubi and Hasiba Ebrahimi.

As we enter the auditorium, the performers are having tea with a First Nations elder, Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor. What unfolds is one of the most touching Welcome to Country ceremonies I have personally attended, as Dixon-Grovenor explains to the audience the importance of holding our loved ones close, for continued respect and love. ancestral love.

This sets the scene for what is to follow. Claiming to be a “crash course in love”, the work expresses the complexity and beauty of this most ineffable and most human desire to love and be loved.

The first scene opens with a FaceTime projection of writer Jalal Nazari reciting mystical poetry in real time. This live streaming of projections is gripping, as the piece speaks of the authentic connection and sharing of love, transgressing borders and time zones, limitless and inspiring.

What ensues are three personal accounts of many iterations of love and affection; from family to romantic and everything in between. The soliloquies are lively and entertaining, punctuated with dancing, singing and live music.

The audience is integrated into the story in an innovative way. Many stories and passages of poetry are recited in Farsi and translated into English, seamlessly afterwards, making it an inclusive and welcoming experience, regardless of native language.

One of the most provocative sections of the work is where it is stated that “translation can be an act of love or betrayal”, in reference to the whitewashed colonial translations of Rumi’s exquisite poetry and Hafz.

James Atkinson has been denounced as a murderous colonizer as well as a lying translator, secularizing and trivializing these beautiful epic poems from Iran and Afghanistan in his poor translations of the work.

Meanwhile, Hasiba Ebrahimi reminds us that these works are “literature without borders”, seeking to console our common human desires for love and belonging.

After many seductive readings of poetry and humbling accounts of each of the artists’ experiences of the bewildering power of love, we are left with the plea to “do everything with love” and place these “pearls” of wisdom and comfort in our hearts. .

The overall effect of this performance, universal in scope, is an effusive sense of joy and comfort. A “feel good” evening with a refreshing aspect for sure.


Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love
Fairfax Studio – Melbourne Arts Centre, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Representation: Friday, September 2, 2022
Season 2 – September 3, 2022 (closed)

Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love will be presented in the Studio – Sydney Opera House: September 9 – 10, 2022. For more information, visit: www.pyt.com.au for more details.

Image: Dorr-e Dari: A Poetic Crash Course in the Language of Love – photo by Anna Kucera

Exam: Leila Lois