The opera Layla and Majnun, based on an ancient Persian tale well known in the Islamic world, makes a rare Western appearance in this stunning collaboration between the great dancemaker Mark Morris and the Silk Road Ensemble. On a set reflecting the striking visual palette of British painter Howard Hodgkin, the Mark Morris Dance Group performs to live, onstage music by the Silk Road Ensemble, including Azerbaijani “living treasures” Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, masters of the improvisational, searingly emotive mugham vocal style.
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)
Layla and Majnun is a Mark Morris Dance Group/Cal Performances, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California production in association with the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago, Illinois; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, College of Fine + Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; 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 of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.