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Niloufar Talebi

Description : Niloufar Talebi is a writer, award-winning translator and theater artist. She was born in London to Iranian parents. Her work has been presented by, or performed at Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, American Lyric Theater, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Riverside Theatre, Royce Hall, ODC/Dance Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Intersection for the Arts, SOMArts Cultural Center, John F. Kennedy Center for... Page:n

Niloufar Talebi
BornLondon, England
Occupationlibrettist, translator, theater artist
Notable workBelonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World, Atash Sorushan (Fire Angels), The Persian Rite of Spring

Niloufar Talebi is a writer, award-winning translator and theater artist. She was born in London to Iranian parents. Her work has been presented by, or performed at Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, American Lyric Theater, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Riverside Theatre, Royce Hall, ODC/Dance Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Intersection for the Arts, SOMArts Cultural Center, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Stanford University, and Brooklyn Academy of Music.

She received a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and an MFA from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. She studied Performance Art at UCI, and Method Acting at the Shelton Studios.

Works

Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World

Talebi is the Editor and Translator of the anthology, Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World (North Atlantic Books, 2008), featuring 18 contemporary Iranian poets living outside of Iran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Four Springs

A multimedia and theatrical performance dramatizing 10 poems from Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World. Performances were at the ODC Theater, and the Mexican Heritage Plaza in the San Francisco Bay Area (2004). Talebi recited/performed the poems in collaboration with composers Hafez Modirzadeh and Mohamad Nejad, and dance artists from Afsaneh Ballet.

Midnight Approaches

DVD of several short video-poems including some footage from the performances of Four Springs. Select video-poems were published by Rattapallax magazine and have screened at festivals internationally, including at the Berlin Zebra Poetry Film Festival, and Visible Verse Festival in Canada. Released in 2006.

ICARUS/RISE

ICARUS/RISE (World premiere, Theatre Artaud, November 15–17, 2007) is a one-hour multimedia theatrical performance of 17 poems from Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World woven together to tell the 30-year story of the Iranian migration. Created and recited/performed by Niloufar Talebi, with dramaturgy by poet/translator Zack Rogow, music by Bobak Salehi, dance and video by Alex Ketley. The performances were edited into a professionally produced DVD.

The Persian Rite of Spring: the story of Nowruz

The Persian Rite of Spring (World premiere, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 14, 2010) is a 35-min multimedia performance that brings to life the mythology, poetry, music, and folklore of Nowruz/Norouz from Winter Solstice through 13-bedar: یلدا جشن سده چهارشنبه سوری نوروز سیزده بدر. Created and narrated by Niloufar Talebi, with music and video by Bobak Salehi. Commissioned by the Farhang Foundation. The performance was edited into a professionally produced DVD.

Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels)

Talebi wrote the libretto for this song cycle reflecting on the decade since 9/11 with composer Mark Grey for Soprano Jessica Rivera and tenor Stuart Skelton. The chamber version of Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels) was co-commissioned by Meet the Composer, Carnegie Hall (World premiere, March 29, 2011), and Cal Performances, (West Coast-premiere, April 3, 2011). The expanded and orchestral version was commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) (World premiere, March 20–21, 2014).

The Disinherited

Talebi is librettist of a one-act opera with composer Clarice Assad, during her Artist Residency in the American Lyric Theater Composer Librettist Development Program (2013-2014). The Disinherited is set in 1983 Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war, when the fate and safety of a young boy who could be forced to walk over and clear minefields lies between tightly held family secrets. It had a workshop performance at Symphony Space Thalia theater in New York City with mezzo-soprano Sarah Heltzel as Mina Safavi, bass-baritone Adrian Rosas as Bahram Safavi, and tenor Glenn Seven Allen as Shayan Safavi (June 16, 2014).

The Investment

Talebi is librettist for a one-act opera, with composer John Liberatore, set in Silicon Valley, and commissioned by the Washington National Opera's American Opera Initiative, (premiered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, November 2014).

The Plentiful Peach

Adaptation of a children's story by the Iranian writer Samad Behrangi with composer Mark Grey for the Los Angeles Children's Chorus. World premiere at Stanford University's Bing Theater (Stanford Live), April 19, 2015.

Epiphany

Talebi is librettist for an immersive requiem inspired by the Latin Mass and Tibetan Book of the Dead, with composer-impresario and Visionintoart founder, Paola Prestini, and visual artist Ali Hossaini and the Young People's Chorus of New York City founded by MacArthur Fellow Francisco J. Núñez. World premiere at the BAM Next Wave Festival of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, November 4–7, 2015.

Awards

  • 2004 International Center for Writing and Translation
  • 2005 American Literary Translators Association Fellowship
  • 2006 PEN/New York State Council on the Arts
  • 2006 Willis Barnstone Translation Prize
  • 2008 Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World nominated for the Northern California Book Award
  • 2015 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Translation Fellow

Publications

  • Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World. North Atlantic Books. 2008. ISBN 978-1-55643-712-0. 
  • "Memory of a Phoenix Feather: Iranian Storytelling Traditions and Contemporary Theater". World Literature today. Oklahoma University. July–August 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  • "Against Longing". Art East. July 1, 2007. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  • "The Art and Politics of Translation". 23 Jan 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 

External links

  • Niloufar Talebi's official website
  • Indie Opera Podcast Interview starts at min 44:45
  • Audio interview (In Persian) on Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels)
  • Interview on Tehran Bureau/PBS Frontline
  • "Interview with Niloufar Talebi, the creator and visionary behind the Iranian Literary Arts Festival (ILAF)", 10/29/07
  • Video: Lectures, Films, Theater, Interviews
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