Celebrated for his creativity and musicality, Morris has never been afraid to experiment; now his Mark Morris Dance Group has come together with the Silkroad Ensemble, formed by the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the British painter Howard Hodgkin, who provides the backcloth, to tell an ancient Islamic story: Layla and Majnun.
It’s a tale that’s pervaded the ancient Islamic world for over a thousand years, told in varying formats, from epic poem to folk dance. Essentially, it narrates how Majnun is driven mad by his love for Layla.
Members of the Silkroad Ensemble play traditional Asian instruments alongside Western strings and percussion; the singer Alim Qasimov (UNESCO-designated Living National Treasure) and his daughter Fergana Qasimova sing in Azerbaijan's mugham style.
In the centre 16 dancers enact the story, the choreography cleverly blending Morris’ own language with elements borrowed from Eastern styles, as well as devices reminiscent of the Sufi whirling dervishes.
It’s a sorrowful tale, but a compelling one; for, as the Financial Times wrote in its five-star review of Layla and Majnun’s New York premiere, 'by idiosyncratic means, the American choreographer confirms why this tragic romance has long mattered: the love it describes is essential and vast.'
Free pre-show talk Wed 14 Nov at 18:30
|What||Mark Morris Dance Group & Silk Road Ensemble, Layla and Majnun|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
13 Nov 18 – 17 Nov 18, 19:30 Sat 14:00 Dur.: TBC
|Website||Click here to book via Sadler's Wells website|