★★★★½ A rich and deeply considered artistic experience
Their love is as clear as the desert sky, but for Layla and Majnun destiny is a cruel matchmaker.
Pre-dating Romeo and Juliet by a thousand years, the tragic love story of Layla and Majnun forms the basis for a dance and music work that is a sensory feast of swirling movement and eye-popping colour.
Legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought the Silkroad Ensemble’s chamber arrangement of the Azerbaijani opera to prodigious choreographer Mark Morris, who draws from ballet, modern and folk dance to create a style of movement unique to this work. The Silkroad Ensemble’s virtuosic performers fuse musical traditions across cultures, centred by mugham singers Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, whose vocal commands have earned them rockstar status.
Backed by a dazzling design by Howard Hodgkin and accented by flowing gowns and tunics in coral and blue, this tragedy of unfulfilled yearning is ultimately elevated into a communal celebration of love's power beyond the temporal plane.
Sung in Azerbaijani with English surtitles.
Please note there is a complete lockout for this performance and latecomers will not be admitted.
THE WHEELER CENTRE
MON 08 OCTOBER 6.15PM
Join Aida Huseynova and special guests for a panel talk to discuss Persian storytelling traditions and the fabulous Azerbaijani music featured in Layla and Majnun.FREE
DANCE WITH MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP - FOR FAMILIES
SAT 06 OCTOBER 3—4PM
Fun for the whole family, this class is taught by Mark Morris Dance Group company members Nicole Sabella and Billy Smith and features excerpts from Layla and Majnun. All ages and levels welcome.
REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED
This is the most ambitious and profound work that Morris has created in the past ten years or more.
- Director and Choreography
- Mark Morris
- Scenic and Costume Design
- Howard Hodgkin
- Lighting Design
- James F. Ingalls
- Uzeyir Hajibeyli, arranged by Alim Qasimov, Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen
- Mugham vocals (Majnun)
- Alim Qasimov
- Mugham vocals (Layla)
- Fargana Qasimova
Layla and Majnun is a Mark Morris Dance Group/Cal Performances, UC Berkeley production in association with Melbourne International Arts Festival; Harris Theater for Music and Dance; Hopkins Center for the Arts; The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Sadler’s Wells; University Musical Society, University of Michigan; and University of Washington World Series.
This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Howard Gilman Foundation.