The famous San Diego Ballet and Grossmont Symphony Orchestra performed the historic Azerbaijani ballet “Seven Beauties” at the Civic Theater in San Diego, California, on October 11.
The main theme of the internationally renowned ballet is acceptance and multi-cultural understanding. The event was sponsored by Azerbaijan’s Culture and Tourism Ministry and presented by Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles.
Over 3,000 Americans enjoyed the stunning performance. It was the ballet’s premiere in the U.S., and presented beautiful lessons on just governance, wisdom of women and the value of diversity.
Many American elected officials attended the performance, including Congresswoman Susan Davis. The San Diego Ballet was able to capture the passion and elegance of this ancient tale.
Composed in 1952 by the famous Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev, the ballet is based on motifs of the “Seven Beauties” poem, written by great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi in 1197.
The story revolves around a young prince who is destined to become the ruler of the world, but he must first encounter seven beautiful princesses from different countries who teach him important lessons he must heed in order to fulfill his calling.
The beauty of this particular production is that in addition to the poem’s historical and cultural significance, it gives way to different interpretations, Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles reports.
Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev said the ballet exemplifies the values of tolerance, inclusion, and multiculturalism, the values that the people of Azerbaijan have been cherishing for millennia.
“My hope is that this performance will serve as another contribution to the promotion of the rich history of art and culture of Azerbaijan in the United States, and specially California. I am confident that through events like these, we can spur a dialogue about friendship, inclusion and acceptance,” he stressed.
Director of the San Diego Ballet Javier Velasco said: “We were thrilled to take on the challenge of bringing this historic and important cultural event to life. The performance of this piece is so relevant in a time when communities around the world are being torn apart by cultural intolerance.”
To conduct a research into the piece, Velasco spent four days in June in the Azerbaijani city of Baku, where he pieced together fragments of a past ballet and score of “Seven Beauties.”
The company was thrilled to be chosen by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism for this project, and to work with the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra, he added.
Renowned conductor of the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra Randall Tweed said: “Our orchestra tremendously enjoyed performing this beautiful music. And I hope we will have many more performances of Azerbaijani music over the years ahead.”
Following the performance, there was a VIP reception where proclamations from elected officials from all over the State of California were presented to Consul General Aghayev and members of the Azerbaijani delegation.
Speaking at the reception, Members of the Azerbaijani Parliament Samad Seyidov and Asim Mollazade, as well as President of the Union of Composers of Azerbaijan Firangiz Alizade, highlighted the importance of the ballet and its premiere in the U.S.
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