Sussan Deyhim, performance artist/vocalist and composer presents her latest work, inspired by the life and poetry of Forugh Farrokhzad, one of Iran’s most influential feminist poets and filmmakers of the 20th Century.
“For me, the most inspiring aspect of this project is the opportunity to introduce the great work and sensibility of an Iranian female icon to the international community. Many Iranian intellectuals consider Forough a cultural godmother of modernist literature in Iran, but she died so young (at the age of 32) that I also think of her as our cultural daughter. A rebel with a cause, Forough spoke with awe-inspiring rawness and maturity. She was an existentialist, feminist provocateur. She was Iran’s Simone de Beauvoir, Frida Kahlo, Maya Deren and Patti Smith all rolled into one. Her work has given me the inspiration to continue my own artistic journey during my 30 years in exile from Iran.”
Singer Sussan Deyhim was born in Tehran and has had a full career as a dancer. From 1971 to 1975, she was a part of Pars National Ballet, affiliated with Persian National Television. In 1976, she received a scholarship to MUDRA (Maurice Bejart’s School of Performing Arts). She then performed with Bejart’s Ballet of the XX Century.
Since 1980, Deyhim has been based in New York and has performed internationally as a vocalist, performance artist, and composer. She has collaborated with composers Mickey Hart, Jerry Garcia, Peter Gabriel (The Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack), Jaron Lanier, Branford Marsalis, Peter Seherer, Naut Humon, and others. She has also appeared in many international productions, including Jean Claude Van Italie’s The Tibetan Book of the Dead, directed by Assur Banipal Babilla, La Scala in Milan by Micha Van Heugh, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Nijinksi with Lindsay Kemp’s English Theatre Group in South America and Italy.
Her primary collaborator is composer and multi-instrumentalist Richard Horowitz. They began their collaboration in 1981 with Azaxattra: Desert Equations, and they have performed together since 1984. They have also created two media theatre pieces, ballets, and many feature and short film projects. In 1997, they released Majoun on the Sony Classical label. Deyhim can also be heard as a member of the improvising ensemble on Bobby McFerrin’s Circlesongs.