Tehran Artists Celebrate Indigenous Diversity With a Cabaret Twist

In downtown Tehran, where a burgeoning theatre scene thrives, an experimental production blends traditional music, indigenous dance, and 1950s “Filmfarsi” cabaret movie influences.

Article for Middle East Journal of Communication and Culture

The term “ruhowzi” refers to an informal, comic, and improvised genre of musical theater that was historically performed at social gatherings in early twentieth century Iran. Communal courtyards in public areas, and private courtyards of affluent homes typically housed a small pool of water. During a performance, the pool would be covered with wooden boards, so that a performance could take place in the round “on the pool”—literally, “ruhowzi.”