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Photo: Karol Jarek
Teatr Zar with Armine, Sister
US Premiere at the San Francisco International Arts Festival

Performances to Mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Sunday, May 24, 2015 - Saturday, May 30, 2015

Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason Center
San Francisco

Tickets: $30 General Admission


After their successful production of The Gospels of Childhood Triptych in 2011, Teatr Zar returns to the San Francisco International Arts Festival in May 2015 with their latest work, Armine, Sister.

This will be the U.S. Premiere of this evening-length piece about the history of the Armenian people in Anatolia and their near-extermination at the beginning of the 20th century in the Armenian Genocide. The project focuses on the history of the world's silence on the subject of the Genocide and is a reflection on the act and inheritance of witnessing.

Armine, Sister explores the tradition of Anatolian monodic music, featuring a single melody line. The project marks the further evolution of Teatr Zar's vocal skills built for over ten years and resulting from their experience performing polyphonic songs. Joining Teatr Zar on this project is Aram Kerovpyan, the Istanbul-born master singer of the Armenian Cathedral in Paris. The project also includes guest artists from various music traditions of Asia Minor, Anatolia and Iranthat Zar artistic director Jaroslaw Fret and members of the group met on their expeditions. They include the Van-born Kurdish singer Dengbej Kazo; Murat Iclinalca, the Armenian master singer at St Gregory the Illuminator Church in Istanbul; the Teheran-born sisters Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat; and Vahan Kerovpyan, a composer and drummer born to an Armenian family in Paris.

Armine, Sister also marks another new dimension in the evolution of Teatr Zar. This project is the first manifestation of what the group refers to as WITNESS/ACTION. Teatr Zar has always been characterized by its dedication to research and study with an almost obsessive focus on detail. Now Zar also has a major social justice component to its mission. The company members are applying themselves to this new mandate in a manner that is consistent with their approach to making art and mission as an ensemble theatre inspired by the thoughts and teachings of Jerzy Grotowski. Armine, Sister has been four years in the making.

In addition to six performances of Armine, Sister the engagement includes complementary music concerts featuring a number of their Armenian guest artists, workshops, panel discussions, a documentary film series and a photography exhibition.

The presentation of Armine, Sister by Teatr Zar is made possible by the support of by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the City of Wroclaw, the Grotowski Institute, the FMC Presents Series, the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles the, the WESTAF Tourwest Grant and the Koret Foundation and the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

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