Bahai News - Group brings Baha'i' to Bristol Friday 4 August 2000, 1900 BST

Group brings Baha'i' to Bristol

Bristol has been the centre of an international musical extravaganza

The Panacea Perfoming Arts Group, which is part of the Baha'i' religion, has been performing around the city over the last two weeks

Israel-based Panacea, which was formed in 1993, has performed spiritual stories around the world but this is the first time they have been to Britain.

The theatre group performed "The Wonderlamp", at a variety of venues including the Downs and schools and community centres at St George and St Pauls.

The musical, which focuses on social issues such as racism, war and drugs, has been a big success. It tackles social problems in dances and songs and is based on the life cycle of religion.

The centre of the story is a lamp which symbolises the light of God. This is dimmed throughout the musical by Man's greed before it is light up again by a messenger from God.

The cast of 25 dancers have come from all over the world including America, Singapore and Australia.

The dancers aged between six and 83 perform in a different place each year. They spend the rest of their time working for the World Centre of the Baha 'i' religion in Israel.

Four children from Bristol were involved in the musical

Four children from Bristol's Baha 'i' centre were involved in the action.

Parisa Faridani, Annisa Mazidian, Bayan Mazidian and Rosita Faridani from Stoke Bishop have all enjoyed taking part in the production.

The Group Co-ordinator, Kathy Hogenson said: "It's been a fabulous two weeks and we have been extremely pleased by the way we have been received in Bristol and Panacea would love to come again."

The amateur performers have held workshops across the city including Bristol University, giving lessons in dance, music, and the media. The organisation which means universal remedy is part of the Baha 'i' faith.

"The best way to reach people is through their hearts and we decided years ago that the performing arts is the best way to communicate our message, says Kathy Hogenson.

"We just hope that these shows will make people pause for thought."

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