عنوان مقاله [English]
Ta'ziyeh is one of religious ceremonies in Iran. As an Iranian tradition, is a ritual that reenacts the death of Hussein (the Islamic prophet Muhammad's grandson) and his male children and companions in a brutal massacre In Ashura. This Play is a kind of comprehensive indigenous form considered as being the national form of Iranian theatre which have pervasive influence in the Iranian works of drama and play. It originates from some famous mythologies and rites such as Mithraism, Sug-e-Siavush (Mourning for Siavush). “Some believe that Iman Hossein's tragedy as depicted in Taziah is the next recreation of the legend of Siavash”
In Iranian tradition, ta'zieh and “shabihkhani”, inspired by historical and religious events, symbolize epic spirit and resistance. The common themes are heroic tales of love and sacrifice and of resistance against the evil. Shabihkhani as a good example, is a form of theatre in which actors make dialogues through songs. The confrontation between good and evil, war events and bravery of great people have always been one of the main subjects in Shabihkhani. Music plays a Fundamental role in Shabihkhani and improves its dramatic aspects. It incorporates a number of performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costumes and using different musical instruments.
In Iranian Ta'zieh, the space is very important. Originally, Ta'zieh dramas, like other Western passion plays, were performed in a public arena, allowing large audiences to convene. They later moved to smaller spaces like courtyards and spaces within the homes of private citizens, but eventually ended up being performed in temporarily constructed performance spaces called tekyehs or husseiniyehs. Tekyehs were somewhat open-air, but almost always had awnings of sorts atop the building to shield the spectators and actors from sun and rain. All performers in a Ta'zieh ceremony never leave the stage. The stage is elevated between one and two feet from the ground and split into four areas: one for the protagonists, antagonists, smaller subplots, and props
Although it is a very traditional ceremony for Iranian people, but we can claim that it had reached its peak during the Qajar period thanks, in particular, to the great interest shown by the Qajar Kings, especially Nasser al-Din Shah (1848-1896). After returning from England, he ordered his engineers to build a place very similar to “Albert Hall” in which he could have similar plays like opera in his own town. So “Tekye Dowlat” was Built in Golestan Palace, and became an Iranian example of an opera house. Due to most people’s religious beliefs, it couldn’t happen but became a very suitable place or kind of Theatre to perform religious ceremonies like Shabihkhani.
Performing this shabihkhani in Tekye Dowlat, with king’s support and thousands of audiences, made the show “an annual festival” which was held in Muharram, and all the groups and actors were trying to do their best during this playing festival. According to the large number of audiences, stage and costumes were designed with special purposes. The stage was circular so actors were free to contact and also If a person was traveling in a circle on or around the stage, that meant they were going a long distance (usually represented the distance between Mecca and Karbala). Traveling in a straight line represented a shorter distance traveled.
The main goal of designing the costumes was not to be historically accurate, but to help the audience recognize which type of character they were looking at. Villains were the Sunni opponents of Imam Hussein. They were always dressed in red. The protagonists, family members of Hussein, were dressed in green if they were male characters. Anyone about to die was in white. Women were always portrayed by men in all black. One way to distinguish character besides the color of their costume was how they deliver their lines. The protagonists or family of Imam Hussein sang or chant their lines and the villains declaimed their lines.
Alongside all these visual elements and playing styles, there is one more thing that makes shabihkhani similar to opera. And that is the Tragic aspects of the play. Although there are slight differences in the content and style, but they have many in common.
In this paper, we tried to find the answer of two questions. Has opera been influential in the structural evolution of Shabihkhani, and how has this show emerged as an Iranian show? we studied a brief history of Tazieh and the procedure of turning this ceremony to Shabihkhani, and also the effect of the "Tekye Dowlat" in the prosperity of Shabihkahni and the performance characteristics of this show.
The results showed that the performance style, dramatic and tragic content and having a deep impact on the audience are among the key features of shabihkhani and opera.What distinguishes Shabihkhani from this European show is the replacement of some performing and content features with Iranian ones. The performance quality and the popularity of Shabihkhani during Qajar (and building Tekye Dowlat) deformed this show into a kind of annual festival. The palying groups understood the importance of these annual shows and competed for a better and more effective performance. After Qajar, due to many different factors, the performance quality of this show has declined and lost its popularity and audience.