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Virtual Screening of Mark Morris Dance Group and Silk Road Ensemble's Layla and Majnun Department / Organization: Carlos MuseumMembership Link: https://carlos.emory.edu/joinLaylaand Majnun, an ancient tale of forbidden love, traveled along the Silk Road and is revered in many Middle Eastern and sub-continental cultures; Muslim, Sufi, Hindu, and secular. Layla and Qays, in love since childhood, are not allowed to marry. Layla is married off to another and Qays, now called Majnun, which means possessed, retreats to nature where he spends his life writing verses about his love for Layla. Ultimately the two lovers unite, but only in death. This story was also famously expressed in poetic form by many authors of the Middle East, including Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209) and Muhammad Fuzuli (1494-1556). The last version written in the Azerbaijani language inspired Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli (1885-1948) to create an opera in 1908. This opera is often referred to as a “mugham opera” as it is based on mugham, the improvised genre of traditional music of Azerbaijan. In 2007, the Silkroad Ensemble, founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, created a new chamber arrangement of the Hajibeyli’s opera. In 2016, choreographer Mark Morris created a new production of the story—a seventy-minute performance featuring Azerbaijani mugham singers Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, musicians from the Silkroad Ensemble performing on traditional Eastern instruments (kamancheh, tar, shakuhachi, and pipa) combined with Western strings (two violins, viola, cello, and contrabass) and a percussionist, along with sixteen dancers from the Mark Morris Dance Group. Howard Hodgkin, the esteemed English painter and expert collector of antique Mughal miniature paintings, designed the costumes and decor, with all of the musicians and dancers sharing the stage on platforms in front of his painting "Love and Death."  Morris describes the producation as “a visually, musically, and choreographically unified and self-contained concert piece. An enlightening tragedy.” In conjunction with the exhibition, Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place, the Carlos Museum presents a virtual screening of the MMDG production of Layla and Majnun with an introduction by Dr. Aida Huseynova, of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, who served as a research advisor for the production. "The music for Layla and Majnun is unusual for its profound depth of sorrow and ecstasy. The mugham style of improvisatory song is a thrilling and rare glimpse into old Azerbaijani culture. The Qasimovs are perhaps the greatest proponents of this heritage. Love, acceptance, devotion, and peace are the ruling esthetics of this production." - Mark Morris Click HERE to register. This program is presented in partnership with the Emory University Program in Dance and Movement Studies and Georgia Humanities.  Photograph by Beowulf Sheehan Apr 08 | 07:30 PM - 07:30 PM | ZOOM Add To Calendar
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