Mark Morris, choreography and direction
Howard Hodgkin, scenic and costume design
James F. Ingalls, lighting design
Uzeyir Hajibeyli, (1885–1948), music; arranged by Alim Qasimov, Johnny Gandelsman, Colin Jacobsen
Alim Qasimov, mugham vocals (Majnun)
Fargana Qasimova, mugham vocals (Layla)
A Cal Performances at Home free archival video stream of the world premiere of Layla and Majnun, recorded in Zellerbach Hall during Cal Performances’ 2016–17 season!
Mark Morris’ lyrical choreography, the emotive voices of Azerbaijan’s Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, the vibrant musicality of the Silkroad Ensemble, and the striking visual palette of British painter Howard Hodgkin combine in “one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking dance works of the past decade” (The New York Times). The timeless story of the tragic love between Layla and Majnun originated in 7th-century Persia, and later 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.
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; Sadler’s Wells, London, England; University Musical Society at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and University of Washington World Series, Seattle, Washington.
The presentation of Layla and Majnun was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.