Nuvo by Rita Kohn
Sep 15, 2004
A Thousand and One Nights, Ballet Internationale’s sumptuous season opener, started as bed-time tales well over 20 centuries ago. While these Oriental fantastical adventures have been sanitized over time for the nursery setting, originally they were meant for adult listening. Underline adult, in the current meaning of the word.
But don’t be afraid to bring your children to the Murat. They will thrill to the spectacle, music and dancing. Astute adults, on the other hand, will catch deeper layers. That is the genius of Eldar Aliev as a storyteller in the ancient tradition of refashioning the original to fit the time and needs of listeners, and in the process creating a new masterpiece with timeless qualities.
Eldar Aliev’s dramatic ballet unfolds in four sections. The first sets the stage for the tales, and the others retell three of the better-known stories. Also known as Tales from the Arabian Nights, this collection of exotic adventures and humanity’s emotional geography reportedly began as an oral cycle related by storytellers in India and were embraced, added to and polished by a host of other tellers in other lands.
Watch the progression of lifts. Observe the leaps and turns. Catch the body language, tilt of head, flutter of hands, calculated steps. There’s more than virtuoso dancing underway. Amirov’s music takes you to emotional planes above and beyond cognizance. Eldar Aliev’s choreography brings you into realms of understanding. The dancing, costumes, setting and lighting package the unity of self with others.
What a wonder-filled way to welcome a new season. A Thousand and One Nights, with music by Fikret Amirov and choreography by Eldar Aliev, will be presented Sept. 17, 8 p.m.; Sept. 18, 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sept. 19, 2 p.m. at the Murat Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St. Call 637-8979, ext. 231.