a plastique/dance show based on A.Navoi’s “Birds’ Language” poem.
The poem is written 500 years ago, however today it sounds very modern and relevant, because it is full of human passions and the priority in it is assigned to eternal spiritual values, unity of humanity in Divine Love.
Friend! Live, not by your own desire,
But by wish of Divine Love...
Libretto and directing - Nabi Abdurakhmanov
Composer - Dmitry Yanov-Yanovsky
Stage Designer - Winner of State prizes Igor Gulenko
Choreographed by - Shukhrat Tokhtasimov, Malika Iskandarova
In the main roles:
Sheikh - Dmitry Kuprey (1999), Alexandr Tsoy (2008), Khasan Salikhov
Virgin - Vassa Vasileva
Duration of the show - 1 hour.
The plastique/movement show “PARABLE ABOUT LOVE GIVEN” based on the poem by Аlisher Navoi «BIRDS’ LANGUAGE» was staged as a colorful dramatized action on a big open area stage before the Youth theatre of Uzbekistan.
This show is:
- awarded with the first prize of Uzbekistan “OFARIN” – for the best directing;
- in August, 2000 participated in a Festival of street theatres of CIS and Baltic countries in Kuznetsk, Russia;
- in April, 2007 participated in “Meetings in Russia” International festival in St-Petersburg, Russia as a joint project together with St-Petersburg “Baltic House” Theatre-Festival.
About one hundred actors participated in the show made on the open area stage. Now the show is in a repertoire of the Youth theatre of Uzbekistan as a show on an ordinary stage with participation of 18 performers.
From memories of А.Navoi: “In my early childhood, at school... I was inquisitive and by all soul was aimed to learn “The Speech of birds”... My naive heart blossomed from words of this book. All my entity was filled by them... »
The old dream of creation of a lyrical poem in Uzbek language, like a complicated philosophical poem “The Speech of birds ” by well known poet Fariduddin Аttаr, Alisher Navoi realizes already in the age of 60 years old, reaching creative perfection. By greatness of a Hymn of Love he preaches Unity in Love of God and his creation – Human being.
Colorful performance – it is a show for youth based on a poem by Alisher Navoi - the founder of Uzbek language and Uzbek literature «Birds’ Language», by chapter about love, Sheikh and beautiful Roman girl, about Love given by God.
This performance – is a peculiar hymn of human love, Divine Love, connecting on true values of East and West, in general, peoples of all over the World. It is a plastic show, without words, so it is intended to any audience, independently from language and religion. Advantage of this performance is that, being grounded on traditions of national Uzbek open area shows, the achievements of modern world plastique/dance and psychological theatre is using together.
A show relates about selfless love of Sheikh to Roman Beauty, about Love given by God connecting on true values East and West, mankind of the Earth.
The story happens in the Middle Ages. In Sacred Mecca, very religious person, Sheikh has a dream as if he prays in a Christian temple and drinks a vine. He goes to Rome and finds there a very beautiful girl and falls in love with her. At last, after a huge torments and tests, both of them understands, that this love is given them by God.
The Opinions of critics after the first-night in St-Petersburg:
Eleonora Makarova, Moscow, Chief of the Сritic Department of the Union of theatre workers of Russia: Lightly, lyrical and united theatrical action. And remarkable main heroes – Y.Yurchekevich (St-Petersburg) and V.Vasileva (Tashkent), on one breath they have sung the poem about Love.
Boris Tukh, critic, Tallinn, Estonia: At our time and life, when there are much things splitting people, this show - for unity, for Real Humanity!
Eteri Kekelidze, critic, Tallinn, Estonia: How it will be nice if all television channels in the world will show this show instead of that horrible, which they always show. And all people can see and feel that God – Is One, and a way of sufferings and searching must passed by all people of all religions for understanding each other.
Valery Podgorodinsky, critic, Moscow, Maly Theatre of Russia: It will be bright memory for me for a long time. The CULTURE-Channel must filmed this spectacle and show it to all! And not because of political considerations, because of such high spirit of actors! Today, when the notion of High Love is ruined, this show should be seeing by all young people.
Rimma Krechetova, theatrical critic, Moscow: "It's amazing that five centuries ago Navoi was not only conceived on depth of this tragic collision, but also had found for it such high decision. Loving heroes are raised up by Divine Wish, because God is single for all peoples, and a Love Given by Him does not recognize religious bans, It is insubmissive to judge of dogmatists."
Sheikh Sanan was honoured in noble households,
Many secrets of invisible essence did he know,
Amongst the sacred and most holy near the Caaba (Mecca) did he live,
His glory could rival that of the prophets.
The sacred East. A sacred place, where all people may feel themselves to be in harmony with higher principles. It has its own rituals, rituals of work and of unit with the Heavens. The Sheikh is one who helps everybody and grants to them this harmony of earthly existence and higher Meaning.
Night after night, he knows not why, he has a dream,
His tranquility is gone and his patience sapped,
When he wakes he prays for protection and shelter,
As soon as he closes his eyes, the same dream returns.
As if he were wandering aimlessly in an alien land,
And then he learns that this land is Rum (Rome).
There he has strayed into a monastery and drunk as a lord,
Starts to pray just like the Christians there.
The Sheikh’s dream. It is as if he is drunk and praying in a Christian church, rejecting this but nevertheless sensing the presence of some sort of Light, one beyond his grasp but which is calling to him.
He reflected deeply: do as he may,
He sees there is no way out, he has to go.
Since this region is destined to me by fate,
Whatever happens to me, I am bound by destiny.
As he left he sank into sorrowful thoughts
And left for the land called Rum.
He decided that this was ordained by destiny. He prepares for a journey. His followers do not want to let him go. However, the Sheikh each time disrupts the rituals they keep arranging for him. His Sufi disciples decide to follow him.
Thus they went on, a righteous man renowned for his deeds
And 400 followers, men of great fame.
Alarm and turmoil struck the Sheikh’s heart,
And began to torment him bitterly and fiercely.
The journey. A hurricane en route. He observes the life, rituals and sensations of the higher harmony of the people of China, India, and Judea. The Sheikh comes to understand their inner harmony, but understands he cannot unite with them, he still desires to find that Light that came to him in a dream.
Many places and many highways did they pass.
Suddenly before them rose a palace of unusual form.
Its dome was like the vault of heaven,
With many strange towers the like of which they had never see before.
They have arrived. Rome. The palace and grand square. Rome has its own rituals and its own harmony with the Heavens. The newcomers are in confusion.
Looking entranced at the buildings,
Suddenly his eye chanced upon one of the marvels…
Unrivalled in visage by enchanted maids and houris,
Her beauty is brighter than the sun in the blue of the dawn.
Thus a daughter of the Christians – of unrivalled beauty -
Appeared before him in a sunbeam like a child of Jesus.
The Maiden appears, still engrossed in the ritual. The Maiden’s unbelievable beauty. The Maiden’s constant search for another harmony she can sense, another Divine Light.
The Sheikh’s heart was pierced a spark like lightning,
And his soul sank into a sea of fire.
Suddenly his sinless soul was warmed by love,
His blood was up and his body filled with love.
The Sheikh’s attempts to join in this ritual and to see the Maiden. His Sufi disciples try to stop him, to drag him away and bring him to his senses.
And for the Sheikh there dawned a day of great grief, -
A dark night such as people have not seen for centuries.
Night. The newcomers seek their own peace, their own harmony. They are like blind men in total darkness. In despair, they lose hope of emerging from the darkness.
The passion of Love cast a dark shroud upon him,
Everything earthly was for him overshadowed by the darkness of night.
The Sheikh’s vision. He sees the Maiden, sees her search for higher harmony, and understands that he can help her, but in his vision he cannot be seen by her. He has a presentiment of Love, Harmony and fusion with the Light for which he seeks. There is almost real union with her in harmony.
Doom sent to him a hundred unsuspected ills.
Through tears he sobbed out to the skies:
You have taken away my peace of mind and confused me with passion,
I am consumed by a hundred fiery ills.
The Sheikh prays. His pupils find him and join him. The sun rises and the Maiden’s friends go out onto the square for their holiday, and try to understand the people praying in the square. But a conflict arises between them.
And the vault of the sun showed its gleaming visage,
Thus the daughter of the Christians showed her face.
The Maiden comes out, too, her own soul filled with confusion.
Those of different creed broke out in dispute,
When they saw the Sheikh’s passions and grief.
The Sheikh rushes towards her. The conflict grows. The Maiden’s friends lord it over the powerless Sheikh and his followers.
Then the obstinate Maiden said: Fool!
Grieve as you may, all is preordained thus:
Whoever would have an assignation with me
Must perform four deeds:
He must tie on the belt of a Christian, must drink himself drunk,
Must worship idols and shun the Koran.
Those four deeds are the pledge of disavowal,
These next two will be redemption from these four deeds.
He must spend a year as a swineherd
And keep constant watch to see the chapel candle stays lit.
The Sheikh pushes aside his followers and accepts her demands. He sees her offering him the Conditions – the belt (sign of renunciation from Islam) and a cup of wine, and demanding he give her the Koran.
All that you wish you may command, of mistress of souls!
Should I fail, bring down the sword of disasters on my neck!
The light from the chapel was brought out first,
And then the Sheikh was told to surrender the Koran.
And when the cross and the Christian belt were brought forth,
Then the beauty brought forth her charms.
She took the cup of the juice of the grape and drained it,
And when the Sheikh beheld her, in an instant he lost his mind and reason.
The Sufi disciples could watch the shameful spectacle no longer,
Abandoning the Sheikh, they fled in shame.
The Sheikh renounces his faith and ties on the Christian belt. He drains a cup of wine. Nobody notices that for all of them the Heavens are beginning to fade, to oppress them. Christian priests try to stop the Maiden’s friends.
Swine were driven in, and a flock of sheep,
Thus was the second wish fulfilled.
And amongst the swine only snouts could be seen,
And the swine was so much in that flock!
Apotheosis. When Sheikh rushes towards the Maiden after performing all the tasks, she proffers him a shepherd’s switch. The “swine-snouted” surround him and his “shepherding” begins. And all feel the invisible pressure of the Heavens, and fall and stagger about unable to withstand it.
Now the Sheikh had one reliable and faithful disciple,
Who had drained the cup of love incomparable.
He alone could offer up prayers and pleas
That the Sheikh might be saved from intrigues.
The disciple, greatly weakened, appeals to the Heavens.
All around, he sees, is flooded with a merciful light
And a gleam appeared from the beam of radiance.
The prophet of all prophets had come down as a herald,
The light of good, an envoy of the Hashemite line.
The disciple sees the road which the Heavens have granted to the Sheikh and lifts the dying Sheikh up and carries him away.
With firm faith they travelled to distant shrines,
Exhausted they passed across steppe and desert.
Sweetly sleeping the beauty has a dream,
Dreamed that the sun as it rose suddenly sank,
That the voice of Jesus was suddenly heard:
«Clearly your heart is deaf to the call of faith».
Jesus Christ appears to the Maiden in her dream, showing her the Way.
And the beauty instantly woke from her dream
And decided to follow the Sheikh.
The vision disappears, and the Maiden awakes. She is aghast as she realizes that she has rejected the Love given her by God. She seeks him. But her friends mock her and do not let her go. Barely alive, she tears herself away from them.
And again on a journey. The two dying lovers meet. But they are not allowed to meet. As they walk towards one another – from two sides like in a war – the whole world as a horror opposes them and each other. It is as if the whole world opposes this love granted to them by the heavens. Unable to go further, they fall, close to death.
Both lack of faith and faith are given to exist,
How wondrous is this, truly wondrous!
Yes, in love there are a lot of marvels,
And a lot of miracles, which are more precious than all secrets.
But death does not take the lovers. Divine Light pours down from the heavens, the Light of love, and takes them up! Takes them up like Angels of Love. And below are the people who could not reconcile themselves to the higher will, who only now perceive THE WILL OF GOD – THAT ALL BE UNITED IN LOVE!
But wait, Navoi, stop your preaching,
Do not judge love, you’ll only get into a muddle!
If I am given even a small span of life
I shall compose a new epic about my love.