Bachtrack: A fiery Layla and Majnun première by the Silk Road Ensemble and Mark Morris Dance Group

The staging required that the dancers move through and around the musicians, and this intertwining gave the piece a coherent visual identity and a flowing energy. 

Moreover, the dancers showed how deeply connected they were not only to the music but also to each other. Mugham singing is improvisational and the singers can shorten or lengthen their solos as they feel is necessary. Every performance is different. This puts increased pressure on the dancers to be aware of shifts in the music and to communicate with each other more or less simultaneously. The company’s integrity to the performance, to the singers, to the music was spot on.