Cain and Abel


And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. […] And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
— The Bible, Genesis


Cain and Abel explores the idea of jealousy and sibling rivalry, which leads to fratricidal violence, fuelled by the patriarchal society we inhabit. The inspiration for this work is the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Here we studied the depiction and sensation of killing one’s brother in different contexts. The first half of the show is highly physical, aggressive in rhythm and stereotypically masculine, which is based on the biblical story of Cain and Abel. The second half of the show is a reaction to the absence of women from the biblical story. Inspired by Jean Genet’s The Maids, the work is a study of Cain and Abel as two sisters. With the support of the Canada Council For the Arts, Cain and Abel is a full-length piece. 


Directed and Performed by Arash and Aryo Khakpour

Sound and Music by Alex Mah

Lights and Projection (First Half) by Parjad Sharifi

Lights (Second Half) by Sophie Tang

Costumes by Elika Mojtabaei

Stage Management by Heather Barr

Photos by Angel Lynne, Sepehr Samimi, and Sheng Ho

Video Documentation: Sepehr Samimi, Amirnaeim Hosseini, Ryder Thomas White, and Sofia Wolfe

Past collaborator on this piece: Eric Chad

Produced by The Biting School

This project was created with the support of:

Canada Council for the Arts

Firehall Arts Centre

Canada Dance Festival

And a studio residency through battery opera performance at hopbopshop

Special Thanks: Mariana Mohammadiazad, Dr. Ahmad Khakpour; Lee Su-Feh, David McIntosh, DD Kugler, Raina von Waldenburg, Heather Lamoureux, Majid Tehrani, Donna Spencer (and Dancing on the Edge), Stephen White (and Dance Days Victoria), Mirna Zagar (and Dance in Vancouver), and Jeanne Holmes (and Canada Dance Festival).

Upcoming Performances:

Firehall Arts Centre (Vancouver Premiere) - Oct 3, 4, 5 and 6, 2018


Montreal, Arts Interculturels (Montreal Premiere) - Dec 7 and 8, 2018


Past Performances:

Scotia Dance centre: Public studio showings of the second half took place in Vancouver, B.C. on March 17th and 18th, 2017.

Photos by    Angel Lynne

Photos by Angel Lynne