Mark Morris' lyrical choreography, the emotive voices of Azerbaijan's Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, the vibrant musicality of The Silk Road Ensemble, and the striking visual palette of British painter Howard Hodgkin combine in this world premiere performance. The timeless story of the tragic love between Layla and Majnun, most notably expressed by the great Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, also was the foundation for the first opera of the Muslim world. Hajibeyli's powerful music—at once profoundly sorrowful and ecstatic—honors the tale's commitment to love, acceptance, devotion, and peace.
Direction and Choreography: Mark Morris
Scenic and Costume Design: Howard Hodgkin
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Music: Uzeyir Hajibeyli, (1885–1948), arranged by Alim Qasimov, Johnny Gandelsman, Colin Jacobsen
Alim Qasimov, mugham vocals (Majnun)
Fargana Qasimova, mugham vocals (Layla)
A Berkeley RADICAL programming initiative.
Layla and Majnun is a Mark Morris Dance Group/Cal Performances, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California production in association with Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago, Illinois; the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, New York; Meany Center for the Performing Arts, Seattle, Washington; Sadler's Wells, London, England; and University Musical Society at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.