DUBAI, 27 December 2021 – Expo visitors were treated to a demonstration of ‘Naqqali’ on Monday, and a chance to learn more about this traditional form of storytelling and musical performance from Iran, as percussionist Ali Nari, and singer Bahareh Jahandoost took to the stage at The Bowl.
Jahandoost is a storyteller, a TV host for children’s programmes, a theatre director and a translator from Tehran. She said: “Storytelling has a long history in Iran. Naqqali is a traditional form, acknowledged by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), using different gestures and music, and sounds high and low. The person who narrates is the Naqqol.”
The storytelling originated in a time before smartphones and the internet, and even electricity. People would gather in their town squares, bringing instruments, and relay these epic stories to each other, with some spread over several days. Jahandoost told a classic love story at Expo, where two people from rival kingdoms meet, and questions are asked of the importance of love over borders and politics.
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