Beauty and Love

Following the refreshing approach to the study of Islamic literature recently suggested by Walter G. Andrews, we have been working on a scenario for the dramatization of Beauty and Love.  Our greater purpose in dramatizing Beauty and Love is to  make this mystical story accessible to modern audiences, who are to some degree estranged from mystical practice and thought.  We are hoping to promote an innovative perspective on the study of Islamic culture and literature as well as to take a step for a mutual respect for differences and positive dialogue between Western and Islamic civilizations by laying foundations based on universally shared values.



Özgen Felek, Ph.D. Candidate
Near Eastern Studies
University of Michigan

Carolina Pahde Mallarino, M.F.A.
(director and choreographer)
Department of Dance
University of Michigan
Mbala Nkanga, Associate Professor
(performance advisor)
Drama & Dance Department
University of Michigan
Walter G. Andrews, Research Professor
 (content advisor and dramaturge)
Near Eastern  Languages and Civilization                                           
University of Washington
Münir ­Beken, Assistant Professor
Ethnomusicology Department
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Special thanks  to Alexander Knysh

Andrew Shryock




                                                                       by  Özgen  Felek

I range Heartache's desert from end to end

Who now is there dares with me to contend?*

Şeyh Galip's Beauty and Love (Husn u Ask) represents a startling explosion of brilliant creative energy coming at the end (1783) of a centuries-old tradition of mystical narrative romances in rhymed couplets (mesnevi) in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish.  This striking Ottoman poem hangs tantalizingly suspended between allegory and myth as it dramatizes and makes concrete the metaphors of the psychic journey toward mystical union through a quest that takes the hero (Love) and his companions through a terrifying landscape peopled by demons, monsters, witches, and a dangerous princess in order to unite him with his beloved Beauty.  Conceived and produced by Özgen Felek with Walter G. Andrews, choreographed by Carolina Pahde Mallarino, and danced by her company from the University of Michigan to music from the much-acclaimed work of Münir Beken, this performance is an exciting experimental attempt to reveal the emotional core of Ottoman mystical literature to western audiences. 

You will not want to miss this!



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Ann Arbor Production

Date: November 1st, 2007, Thursday
7 pm
Place:  Mendelssohn Theatre 
Michigan League
911 N. University,
Ann Arbor  MI 48109

Directions to
Mendelssohn Theatre

 Montreal Production

Date: November 18th, 2007, Sunday
4 pm
:  Palais des Congres des Montreal 517 C

             This project is supported by the grants from  the Islamic Studies Initiative, University of Michigan International InstituteCenter for World Performance Studies
                         Center for Middle Eastern &North African Studies, Near Eastern Studies,
and  Institute of Turkish Studies
          *Şeyh Galip.  Beauty and Love (trans. by Victoria R. Holbrook
). New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2005. (Galip; 1636)