Performative Storytelling (Naqqali)
Naqqali is a form of professional storytelling in verse and prose, combined with the body movements of a storyteller (naqqal) and sometimes music. This type of performative storytelling is mostly known in relation to the narration of the epic stories from the Shahnameh (Book of Kings).
Listen to an episode of the story of Siyavush depicted in this painting. This naqqali was composed by Shahrokh Yedegari and performed by the first female naqqal, Fatemeh Habibizad (Gordafarid), at the Aga Khan Museum in 2014.
Can you think of an epic story that you once read? How would you perform the story?
Click here to watch the video.
Image: Marriage of Siyavush and Farangis, manuscript of Shahnameh (Book of Kings) by Firdausi (d. 1020), Isfahan, Iran, 1657, opaque watercolour, ink, and gold on paper, AKM274
Video: The recording is an excerpt taken from a page-to-stage performance Siavash: The Prince of Hope, performed in 2014 at the Aga Khan Museum.