House of Strength

Roshanak Morrowatian / Rover
Thu 25 Jan ’24 and Fri 26 Jan ’24
A performance about the power of connection, inspired by an ancient Persian tradition.
Thu 25 Jan ’24
Fri 26 Jan ’24

After a series of impressive solos, Roshanak Morrowatian now presents her first group production. House of Strength is a spiritual, physical, and musical performance where the versatility of man is celebrated. The choreography transforms an ancient ritual, originally from Persia, into contemporary inclusive dance that celebrates the power of the collective. 

Traditionally, the Varzesh-e bastani (old or traditional sport) or Varzesh-e Pahlevani (heroes sport) in Iran is performed in an arena in the Zurkaneh, which literally means ‘House of Strength’. The aim of the ritual is to become a better person by a combination of power training, spirituality, poetry, and music. It is performed exclusively by men in public. 

In House of Strength, five female, male and queer performers take over. They transform a gymnastically one-sided tradition into a compelling physical expression of inclusive contemporary dance. In harmony, the dancers encourage each other in who they are and also celebrate the power of the collective.  

"..we often forget that tradition, too, is always being made and remade. Tradition is fluid, it is always being constituted. Tradition is about change." - Madan Sarup, 'Identity, culture and the postmodern world'


concept and choreography Roshanak Morrowatian (in collaboration with the performers) performers Sjaan Flikweert, Djahan Manuela Mazhari Perez, Reza Mirabi, Deion Simon, Vainergill Thurnim dramaturgy Nicole Geertruida music Rutger Zuydervelt set Davy van Gerven costume Antoine Peters light design Loes Schakenbos photographer and art director Afagh Morrowatian artistic coach Suzy Blok productie Stichting Rover coproductie ICK Dans Amsterdam/Artist Space, Korzo, VIA ZUID, Parkstad Limburg Theaters grants Provincie Limburg, Fonds Podiumkunsten, Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie aquisition CASC with thanks to DOX

About Roshanak Morrowatian 

Roshanak Morrowatian  (Iran, 1989) is a choreographer, dancer and actress. After receiving her BA in dance and an MA in dance composition at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Germany she appeared in works by artists such as Marina Abramović, Pina Bausch, Isabelle Beernaert, Alexis Blake, and Joost Vrouwenraets. 

The desire for a more harmonious society runs as a fil rouge through the work of Morrowatian and her dance company Rover. Unnoticed details, invisible people, and forgotten stories are given leading roles in her choreographies. Interdisciplinary performances where subjects such as identity, boundaries, and belonging are central. As an artist, she looks for the physical roots of memories and redefines traditions and rituals. 

For the performance Polished, Morrowatian received the 2020 BNG Bank Dance Prize together with Mami Izumi; she also was included in the DansClick 22 tour. In 2020, Morrowatian was awarded the Prize of the Nederlandse Dansdagen, the national encouragement prize for talented, promising creatives.

From 2023 she is artist in residence at ICK Dans Amsterdam/Artist Space and Parkstad Limburg Theaters and part of the Nieuwe Makers Program of the Fonds Podiumkunsten. In this two-year traject she is being supported by ICK, Korzo, VIA ZUID, Parkstad Limburg Theaters and DOX.