Mark Morris gets to the heart of the story of Layla and Majnun at the White Light Festival, New York

The immediate antecedent to Mark Morris’s Layla and Majnun may date back only a century, to the first Azerbaijani opera, but the story has pervaded the Islamic world, from India to Morocco, for over a thousand years — as folktale, epic poem, miniature painting and classical dance. By idiosyncratic means, the American choreographer confirms why this tragic romance has long mattered: the love it describes is essential and vast.

★★★★★