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  • 11/2/2010

Old chums cherish childhood memories with Morteza Ahmadi


Friends from older times gathered to celebrate the 86th birthday anniversary of their old chum Morteza Ahmadi, the individual who reminds everybody of the happy childhood days.

Ahmadi has appeared in over 30 films and has also voiced many animation characters over his 65-year career. He is famous for his voice of the sly fox that tricks Pinocchio.

Cosponsored by Beethoven Music Center and Rudaki Foundation, the ceremony was held at Vahdat Hall on Sunday evening and attended by a great number of artists, cineastes and friends to honor the veteran cinema and stage actor Morteza Ahmadi.

Tar virtuoso Hossein Parsaii, director of Rudaki Foundation Hossein Parsaii, actors Jamshid Mashayekhi, Behzad Farahani, Saber Abar, Shaqayeq Farahani, and director Marzieh Borumand were among the participating guests.

“Morteza Ahmadi has been as delicious as the food we used to have in our childhood. He is a manifestation of Iranian folklore,” Borumand began to speak about Ahmadi first on stage.

“He is an honest and modest man who has been seeking Iranian culture and folklore all these years. I hope we can make better use of his knowledge,” she said.

A short film on Ahmadi featuring interviews with him about his life and activities, his rhythmic voiceover narrations, as well as clips from several movies he had acted in were screened for the audience.

Next, Alizadeh was invited on stage where he called Ahmadi a man of seven arts, “he reminds me of tar virtuoso Ali-Akbar Shahnazi.”

“Happiness is his comrade. Tehran has always been a city of migrants that seems to have no particular culture but when we listen to Morteza, we find out that Tehran possesses an old and specific culture. He bestows life to everybody and all different generations remember their identity upon hearing his name.

“Let us celebrate his birthday with all our hearts. I forgot all my grief in these few short hours that I have been here. He reminds us of the rich folklore of our country Iran,” he added.

The ceremony continued with several brief speeches by Mashayekhi, Abar and Farahani.

Afterwards, Ahmadi was called on stage, which garnered long applause and ovations from the audience.

Ahmadi is one of the few artists who possess expertise in Iran’s traditional theatrical performances such as ru-hozi, pardekhani (curtain-reading), and siah-bazi, which is usually accompanied by a tonbak, music and a rhythmic narration. These performances have been neglected over the past three decades.

Ru-hozi theater is a mobile kind of traditional play performed in houses on top of the courtyard pool that is covered over by wooden planks to convert it into a stage. The viewers would sit around it and watch the performance.

Siah-bazi is a type of folk play featuring a black-faced harlequin who stirs the audience to laughter with amusing improvisations.

“I fell in love with ru-hozi performances when I was 12. I have long been trying to revive this artform over the past 40 years. I finally managed to publish my first book ‘Ever New Oldies’ in 2001. The second volume is ready and I hope to publish it soon.

“I have always tried to inject happiness into my songs. If I was able to make people happy and make them forget their sorrows for a moment, I have accomplished my job,” he concluded.

Photo: Iranian multimedia artist Morteza Ahmadi (R) cuts his birthday cake during a celebration held by the Beethoven Music Center and the Rudaki Foundation at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on October 31, 2010. (Mehr/Mohammadreza Abbasi)

Source: tehrantimes.com

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