Havabazi Avesta is the Turkish storyteller Ariel Balevi’s adaptation of the Zoroastrian creation story Avesta, which echoes both Biblical stories and the mythology of ancient India. Like Jadoo Bänoo, this project uses the Leap Motion to translate projected abstract visuals that float on and around the performer through front-projection. The first rehearsals used the Viz.it software to control the shape, colour, size, opacity and texture of kaleidoscopic graphics that are set in a void of black and are designed to situate the storyteller among the cosmos. The creative process has been a “journey of self-discovery” says Balevi in that “these myths are often metaphorical of an individual’s own conceptions of the world”.

Themes of eternity, temptation and universal humanity are explored, and abstract graphics are used to avoid any sort of literal translation and also to allow the space for the viewer to interpret these larger-than-life concepts in their own way. For Balevi, working with serendipitously generated abstract emanations of his tale gave him the opportunity to rediscover his own work: Playfully interacting with images, which were generated by my own spontaneous gestures made me rediscover my own stories, offering insights into a story that I thought I already knew. Graphic images offers me an experience of surprise that I sometimes have when some listeners pick up on the humour or mystery of a part of a story, which I had never before considered. Havabazi Avesta allowed Balevi to extend and abstractly translate his corporeal movements on-stage, which opened inroads in his performative expression through undirected impulsive exploration. In effect, the performer was able to transcend the default biological framework and discover new possibilities of bodily expression, which he had not previously considered.

Credits:
Artist Director: Maziar Ghaderi
Technical Director: Maziar Ghaderi
Cellist: Jen Blakney
Teller: Ariel Balevi