New Mark Morris dance piece to open Cal Performances’ 2016-17 season

Cal Performances kicks off its 2016-17 season with a star-studded bang in late September with the world premiere of Mark Morris' evening-length dance "Layla and Majnun," performed by his company and featuring Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble as well as Azerbaijan mugham vocalists Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova. The work, drawn from the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi's story of forbidden love, plays Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. But the fun hardly stops there. Among other highlights of the new season, announced this week, are: Many of the performances and mini-residencies include special discussions, demonstrations and other community events as part of Cal Performances' Radical program, meant to afford audiences a deeper understanding of the artists and works being presented.