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Closed November 17, 2018
Mr. Morris does not so much tell the Layla-Majnun story as refract it, ritualize it, multiply it. The emphasis is all on emotion...Mr. Morris's choreography deconstructs and distills the poetic legend with charm and taste.
New York Times
The Silk Road Ensemble and the Mark Morris Dance Group bring their soaring collaboration 'Layla and Majnun' to London once more, after a critically acclaimed world premiere in 2016. The multicultural work was praised for bringing the ancient Romeo-and-Juliet-esque love story between its titular characters alive with an electric marriage of arresting choreography, sweeping scenic design and soul-stirring music.
Founded by cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma, The Silk Road Ensemble will perform a 1908 operatic work by Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Haijbeyli alongside improvised traditional mugham music as sung by renowned father-daughter duo Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova. This underpins the kinetic narrative of the piece's 16 dancers, who embellish a rollercoaster forbidden romance based on a series of pre-Islamic Bedouin poems. Layla and Majnun are in love from birth, but Majnun is perceived as mad in his obsession with Layla and she is later married to another, setting the stage for a heart-wrenching tragedy for the ages.
Opening night: 13 November 2018
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