An ancient, epic tale of star-crossed lovers, Layla and Majnun is more than 1000 years old. The story is revived at this year’s Melbourne International Arts Festival, in a magnificent dance production choreographed by Mark Morris.
As a complement to these performances, the Wheeler Centre is hosting a conversation about the significance of the Layla and Majnun legend, in the past and today, and on the nature of Persian storytelling traditions more broadly.
We’ll hear from musicologist Aida Huseynova, an expert in the music and culture of Azerbaijan, who consulted on the Layla and Majnun production. We’ll also hear from Shokoofeh Azar, acclaimed author of The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, who drew on Persian legends when writing her Stella Prize-shortlisted novel.
The pair will discuss the importance of music and song in Persian storytelling, and the role of adaptation and interpretation in keeping traditional stories alive.
Our bookseller at this event will be Hill of Content.
Presented in partnership with Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Aida Huseynova Ph.D., a musicologist from Azerbaijan, is a Lecturer in Music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Since 2006, Huseynova has served as a research advisor for the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Silk Road Ensemble founded by Yo-Yo Ma, the Kronos Quartet and the Aga Khan Music... Read more
Shokoofeh Azar is an Iranian-Australian journalist and author, living in Australia since 2010 as an asylum seeker. She is the author of The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree which was published in 2017 by Wild Dingo Press in Melbourne. This debut novel was nominated for the International Booker pr... Read more
Serpil Senelmis is an Australian broadcaster with Turkish heritage. She is the co-director of Written & Recorded, a content agency. The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts graduate has worked behind the microphone, in front of the camera and behind the scenes of radio and television progr... Read more
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