FEATHERS OF FIRE: A Persian Epic

"One of the great epics of all time and my favorite "Shahname" brought to life in a spectacular fashion by Hamid Rahmanian with shadow puppets design and cinematic wizardry" - Francis Ford Coppola

We are thrilled to present FEATHERS OF FIRE, a breathtaking cinemascope-size shadow play based on the action-packed magical tale of Zaul and Rudabeh, star-crossed lovers, who triumph against all odds then give birth to the most important mythological hero of Shahnameh – RostamThis family-friendly show is sure to entertain children and adults alike with its enchanting characters and visually stunning imagery. More...

We are represented by Lisa Booth Management.  Contact them if you would like to book the show. 


For a limited time we are offering up a selection of our limited edition prints from the book Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings.  These custom prints will make a wonderful holiday gift for your friends and loved ones.  

Digital print on metallic paper, 13” x 19”, limited edition 15 prints.  
Framed images are #5 of the edition.  Unframed art is #6 in the edition.

>> View the Collection


Upcoming Events:

Join us for an upcoming performance of FEATHERS OF FIRE.

Stay tuned.  We will be announcing our 2017/18 season soon.  We'll be all over the place!  

View our Calendar for a full list of upcoming events.

Previous Shows:

2017

Jan  25-29 - Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, Chicago, IL
Feb 19-21 - Materia Prima. 4th Int’l Festival of the Form Theatre, Krakow Poland
Mar 10-12 - Nowruzgan Festival, Toronto
April 15th-16 - Kaohsiung Spring Festival, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

2016

Previews: January 17-19 - Cowell Theater, San Francisco, California, SF
World Premiere: February 2-9 - Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC
April 16-17 - Harvard University, Fitzgerald Theater, Cambridge, MA
May 15 - Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
May 27-29 - Freud Playhouse, California, LA
 

 

ABOUT US

Kingorama is a website the presents the works on Shahnameh, created and produced by award-winning artist Hamid Rahmanian.   It all started with an idea to bring the little-knowns stories of Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) to the West.  Written by the Iranian poet Ferdowsi in the tenth century, Shahnameh weaves togethers Iran's ancient myths, epic stories and history into a great epic poem.  

Our goal is to present the tales of Shahnameh on a variety of platforms, so that it reaches a diverse audience across the globe. 

Our Team

Hamid Rahmanian is a 2014 John Guggenheim Fellow. His work centers on film and graphic arts. His work has been exhibited in international competitions and publications. His narrative and documentary films have premiered at Venice, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, and IDFA film festivals. He has won numerous international awards and his works have been televised on international networks, including PBS, Sundance Channel, IFC, Channel 4, BBC, DR2, and Al Jazeera. Mr. Rahmanian undertook the immense task of illustrating and commissioning a new translation and adaptation of the tenth-century Persian epic poem Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, entitled Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings. This best-selling 600-page art book, which the Wall Street Journal lauded as a “masterpiece,” was published by the Quantuck Lane Press in 2013.   His artwork from the book has been exhibited and purchased by several museums.  Mr. Rahmanian created a cinematic shadow play for the theater based on the love story of Zaul and Rudabeh from the Shahnameh, entitled FEATHERS OF FIRE: A PERSIAN EPIC, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2016.  He recently completed a pop up book, entitled, ZAHAAK: THE LEGEND OF THE SERPENT KING, to be released in 2016 through Fantagraphics Books in English and French. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Download Hamid's full biography.

Melissa Hibbard co-founded the production company Fictionville Studio with her partner, Hamid Rahmanian.  She produced BREAKING BREAD (2000), SIR ALFRED OF CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT (2001) and SHAHRBANOO (2002).  In 2008, she produced and wrote THE GLASS HOUSE in association with the Sundance Channel, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received the Human Rights Award (OSCE, Docufest) and Best Feature Documentary (Dallas Video Fest).  In 2003, she co-established a non-profit organization – ARTEEAST – its mission statement to promote the arts and cultures of the Middle East and it’s worldwide diasporas in the United States; she was a board member and the ArteEast Online Director through 2007. In 2009, Melissa founded Fictionville Media; a documentary distribution service aimed at helping filmmakers self-distribute their own works. Recently she collaborated on an illustrated translation and adaptation of Persian mythology called SHAHNAMEH: THE EPIC OF THE PERSIAN KINGS (2013) as the Editorial Director.

Our Collaborators

Simon Arizpe is a paper engineer based in New York City. in 2013 his pop-up work earned him an honorable mention from the Society of Illustrators and the Museum of Comic Book Art and Cartooning inaugural Award of Excellence. Aside from his solo work, Simon is senior paper engineer at Robert Sabuda studio, where he has worked on New York Times best selling books: Star Wars: a pop-up guide to the galaxy, Dragons & Monsters, DC Comics Universe pop-up and The Little Mermaid as well as many other award winning titles. Simon is a founding member of The American Design Club.

Larry Reed is an internationally recognized theatre director and is one of the few American dalangs (³shadow master²) of traditional Balinese Wayang Kulit. The Founder/Artistic Director of ShadowLight Productions, Reed has pioneered contemporary shadow theater by integrating traditional shadow theater techniques with film, modern theatre and dance styles, which has become ShadowLight¹s hallmark aesthetic. Truly a multidisciplinary artist, Reed has also written, directed and produced films in the US and Mexico.  Shadow Master (1979), his unique ³dramatic documentary² on the family of a Balinese shadow artist, has been shown on PBS and Discovery Channel.  He also served as Assistant Director of National Theater of Costa Rica, and performed with Anna Halprin and her SF Dancers¹ Workshop in the 60¹s. Fluent in five languages, his articles and translation have been published in Asian Theatre Journal and Shattentheater (Germany) among others.  Reed has garnered numerous awards and honors, and was named one of Top 50 artists in the SF Bay Area by Metropolitan Magazine in 1995 and 1996.

Ahmad Sadri is professor of Sociology and Anthropology and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College. He is the author of Max Weber’s Sociology of Intellectuals published by Oxford University Press and selected as the 1993 academic book of the year by Choice, the publication of American Library Association. He has written two books in Persian, Reviving the Concept of Civilizations and An Apocalypse Soon, and his published translations include Saddam City (from Arabic) and Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam (from Persian). He lives in Gurnee, Illinois.

Our Partners

Two Chairs Inc
Fictionville Studio
Banu Productions
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Quantuck Lane Press
Fantagraphics Books
Brooklyn Arts Council
Doris Duke Shangri La Residency Program
Honolulu Museum of Art
Shadowlight Productions
Canon USA

About Shahnameh - The Book of Kings

A little over a thousand years ago a Persian poet named Ferdowsi of Tous collected and put into heroic verse the millennium old mythological and epic traditions of Iran. It took him thirty years to write the sixty thousand verses that comprise the Shahnameh (The Book of Kings). This monumental tome is one of the most important literary works of Iran and like other great epics, such as Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Nibelungenlied and Ramayana, it is a record of the human imaginative consciousness. It is well known and has been adapted through out the Near East, Central Asia and India but is mostly unknown in the West.

The stories of the Shahnameh tell the long history of the Iranian people. It begins with the creation of the world and the origin myths of the arts of civilization (fire, cooking, metallurgy, social structures, etc.) and ends with the Arab conquest of Persia in the seventh century, A.C.E. A mix of myth and history, the characters of Shahnameh take the readers on heroic adventures filled with superhuman champions, magical creatures, heart-wrenching love stories, and centuries-long battles.

Ferdowsi was grieved by the fall of the Persian Empire. Shahnameh was meant to harbor the Persian collective memory, language, and culture amidst a turbulent sea of many historical storms and to preserve the nostalgia of Persia’s golden days.

Heroes of Shahnameh are often torn between incompatible loyalties: moral duty against group obligations, filial piety against national honor, etc. Some Iranian kings and heroes appear in Shahnameh as shining examples of courage and nobility. Others are portrayed as flawed human beings who lose their divine “charisma,” their loved ones, and even their own lives to pettiness and hubris. Ferdowsi stresses his belief that since the world is transient, and since everyone is merely a passerby, one is wise to avoid cruelty, lying, avarice and other evils; instead one should strive for order, justice, honor. truth and other virtues.

Shahnameh has survived as the embodiment of the pre-Islamic Persian soul, but it is much more than a national treasure. As a document of human collective consciousness, it reflects the dilemmas of the human condition as it confronts us with the timeless questions of our existence.

The present version covers the brief mythological opening of Shahnameh as well as the main bulk of its epic stories. The last one third of the book that is dedicated to the tales of the last pre-Islamic dynasty of Iran and the Arab conquest is not part of this version of Shahnameh.