New Works Presents

Zahak, The Serpent King

The Biting School
November 30, December 1* & 2 | 8pm
ANNEX (823 Seymour Street, Vancouver BC)

World Premiere 

*December 1 performance will be followed by a Post-show Talkback with the Artists. 

Join The Biting School for the world premiere of Zahak, The Serpent King this fall.

So the story goes…
Zahak was a prince who made a pact with the devil and killed his own father. The devil kissed him on the shoulders and there grew two snakes. The two snakes gave him so much pain and fear; but every time he cut them off, they would grow again. He is told there’s only one way he can calm them down, and that is to kill two young men every day and feed their brains to the snakes.

The work delves into the darkness of oppression and power, emitting a mysterious, almost eerie vibe. It narrates the brutality of a ruler who kills his own people. Inspired by this Persian myth, directors Aryo and Arash Khakpour invite audiences into a mesmerizing world of physical theatre, dance, surrealist imagery, slippery snakes and transformation. 

About The Biting School

The Biting School is a company led by brothers Aryo and Arash Khakpour. The Biting School has been presented at Dancing on the Edge Festival, Dance Days Victoria, rEvolver Festival, Dance in Vancouver, VIDF, Firehall Arts Centre, Montreal Arts Interculturels, and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. The company is based in Vancouver, Canada, and was founded as a meeting ground for dance, theatre and performance art.

Drawing from histories, myths, and philosophical inquiries, The Biting School explores social dynamics, historical roots, and political issues on a physical and visceral level. The company aims to translate the anxiety, the grotesque, the trauma, and the beauty of our time into the language of the flesh. The Biting School creates works that are ethically engaging, physically demanding, theatrically bold, and rhythmically humorous.

Director and Choreographer - SIDE A: Arash Khakpour

Director and Writer - SIDE B: Aryo Khakpour

Performers: Mia Pelayo, Andy Kalirai and Audrey Sides

Video Projection Designer: Candelario Andrade Gutierrez

Costume Designer: elika mojtabaei

Composer and Musician: Alex Mah

Props and Set Designer: Hamidreza Jadid

Lighting Designer: Jonathan Kim 

Technical Director: Gabriel Raminhos

Dramaturgs: Majid Sajadi Tehrani and elysse cheadle

Stage and Production Manager: Kayleigh Sandomirsky

Publicity Photographer: Luciana Freire D'Anunciação

Produced by The Biting School - @thebitingschool

Supported by Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, City of Vancouver, BC Gaming Grants and in partnership with New Works.

Research Phase Creative Team in 2019:
Created by Arash and Aryo Khakpour in collaboration with: Alex Mah, Billy Marchenski, Candelario Andrade Gutierrez, Chu-Lynne Ng, elika mojtabaei, elysse cheadle, Hamidreza Jadid, Jonathan Kim, Majid Sajadi Tehrani, Nazli Akhtari, Raina von Waldenburg, and Zahra Shahab.
Supported by Canada Council for the Arts and through The Dance Centre's Artist-in-Residence program.

Photo: Top and middle photo by Luciana D'Anunciacao.