Naqqāli, Iranian dramatic story-telling
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Naqqāli dramatic performance has long played an important role in Iranian society, from the courts of kings to remote villages. The performer – the Naqqāl – recounts stories in verse or prose accompanied by gestures and movements, and sometimes instrumental music and painted scrolls. Both entertainers and bearers of Persian literature and culture, Naqqāls need to be acquainted with local cultural expressions, languages and dialects, and traditional music. Naqqāli requires considerable talent, a retentive memory and the ability to improvise with skill to captivate an audience.