An Investigation into Taziyeh and Performance Art with an Emphasis on the Audience Interaction

Document Type : Research Article




Taziyeh as a ritual performance is an ancient art. Its present form originated during Safavid period and
became popular in Qajar era. Taziyeh has often tried to interact with the common audience in order to
convey meanings and thus be more effective. This art form is known to be the basis of the principles
of contemporary Dramatic and Performing Arts. As a part of New Art, in the late 60s, Performance Art
applied philosophy, visual arts, postmodern theories and theatrical elements to convert a static art into a
dynamic one, and thus developed the concept of communication and interaction with the audience during
the course of time.
Therefore the main problem of the research is as following: Is it possible to compare Taziye and Performance
Art within the body of Performing Arts and hence ascribe similar functions to both, related to the amount
of audience interaction (the amount of communications, the similarities and their overlapping)? Depending
on the hypothesis of this article, the two arts are related according to the definition of New Art within the
context of the audience participation; it means both are audience-centered. The main purpose of this study
is to identify a new approach in the field of Traditional Arts, and the secondary purpose is to accept Taziyeh
as a traditional art being parallel to the new art of Performance, on the basis of audience participation
features. In spite of the insignificant amount of its followers in Iran, this viewpoint is as old as postmodern
history and may expand the perspective of the artists. Therefore, a descriptive analytic method is applied
and the information is gathered through library documents. Studying the most common and outstanding
characteristics of these two arts, we have concluded that since there exists overlapping and similarities
between the two arts in the field of audience interaction and participation, Taziyeh could be considered as
Performance Art, and certain other traditional arts as the foundations of New Arts.


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