House of strength

HOS. Afagh Morrowatian

“House of strength is very much in line with the current women's struggle in Iran.”

autumn 2022


House of strength is a spiritual, physical and musical performance in which human versatility is celebrated. An ancient ritual with origins in Persia is transformed into contemporary inclusive dance.

Traditionally, Varzesh-e bastani (‘old/traditional sport’) or Varzesh-e Pahlevani (‘hero sport’) is performed in Iran in an arena in the Zurkhaneh, which literally means ‘House of strength’. The ritual combines strength training, spirituality, poetry and music and is only practiced by men in public. The goal is to become a better person.

With House of strength, Roshanak Morrowatian also wants to enable women and other genders to share in the power of the ritual. Women and queer performers take over in House of strength. In harmony they encourage each other in who they are and at the same time they celebrate the power of the collective.

House of strength will premiere in Korzo The Hague in May 2023

Concept and choreography: Roshanak Morrowatian
Performers: Sjaan Flikweert and 4 other performers (to be announced)
Dramaturgy: Nicole Geertruida
Music: Rutger Zuydervelt
Set: Davy van Gerven
Costume: Antoine Peters
Production: Stichting Rover
Coproduction: Korzo, ICK Amsterdam, DOX, Parkstad Limburg Theaters
Subsidiary: Province of Limburg, Cultuur Innovatiefonds Limburg
Acquisition: CASC