Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King

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Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King


Friday Apr 03 05:00 PM


Doris Duke Theatre


About the Performance:

Part of public programming for Doris Duke's Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art and Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings

Multidisciplinary artist Hamid Rahmanian not only did the illustrations for Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings, he makes beautiful shadow puppets of the epic’s characters.

Using these puppets, students from the University of Hawai‘i–Mānoa’s Theatre and Dance Department, led by storyteller Maseeh Ganjali, perform this exciting shadow play of a classic tale from the Shahnameh. He tells the story of Prince Zahhak who is easily swayed by the devil to take the throne from his father to become King Zahhak.

Soon after, King Zahhak is again duped by the devil whose seemingly respectful kisses turn into monstrous snakes that grow out of the king’s shoulders. The Serpent King grows infamous for his treachery and oppression. He rules for 1,000 years before a noble man named Feraydun defeats the unjust king.

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