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Iranian begins attempt at world's longest pantomime

TEHRAN, May 19 (Mehr News Agency) - Bahram Reihani plans to symbolically connect the two Iranian cities of Tehran and Isfahan by pulling an imaginary rope during what is intended to be the world's longest pantomime.

He began his quest on May 18, the first day of Iran's Cultural Heritage Week, at the headquarters of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) in Tehran.

He has applied theatrical makeup to his face and is also wearing a shirt bearing the motto: "The World's Longest Pantomime from Tehran to Isfahan, Cultural Heritage, Eternal Legacy". He is scheduled to reach Isfahan's Si-o-Se Pol Bridge at sunset on the 15th day.

"I have been planning for such a pantomime for many years. I finally decided to perform it because Isfahan has been declared the Cultural Capital of Islam for the year 2006," Reihani said.

He is traveling the 450 kilometers between the two cities in order to draw attention to the need for the preservation and renovation of the country's cultural heritage and to promote pantomime, which he believes is being forgotten in Iran, he added.

"I have been performing pantomime for nine years. I have been practicing seven hours a day for this show since last December and I don't think I will face any problems during the trip," he stated.

During the opening ceremony for the pantomime, CHTO Deputy Director for Cultural and Communications Affairs Alireza Sajjadpur handed Reihani a Seljuk era tile bearing the image of Simorgh to be presented to Isfahan officials.

Sajjadpur explained that the Simorgh is Iran's legendary and mythical symbol and has several meanings.

"It is the symbol of travel, Eastern mysticism, the sublime, and Iran's 30 provinces," he added.

He went on to say that Reihani is being accompanied by 11 people, including authors, makeup artists, costume designer, reporters, and medical doctors to provide him with assistance, if necessary.

Pantomime is one of the best ways to communicate with all people across the world since it needs no translation, Sajjadpur said in conclusion.

... Payvand News - 5/20/06 ... --

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