Autumn 2005 (13.3)
Puppeteers Thrill Warsaw
Hajibeyov's "Cloth Peddler" Performed at Festival
All photos by Witek Hebanowski
Marionette Theater delighted Polish audiences at the annual Transcaucasia
Festival in Warsaw from September 14-17, 2005. It was the first
time that the theater group had gone abroad in 14 years.
Left: Puppeteers perform a scene from Hajibeyov's
Arshin Mal Alan.
Azerbaijan has one of the very few Marionette Theaters in the
world. It was organized in 1993 by Tarlan Gorchu. The theater
features Uzeyir Hajibeyov's dearly loved musical comedy, "Arshin
Mal Alan" (The Cloth Peddler) written in 1913. In the story,
a rich merchant disguises himself as a cloth peddler in order
to enter the courtyards to choose a bride, since women were always
The Baku team took 24 exquisitely detailed marionettes to Warsaw
including the characters of Asgar, Gulchohra, Asgar, Vali, Sultan
bey and Aunt. There were also characters from the Old City of
Baku (Ichari Shahar) plus a camel and some birds. The music was
pre-recorded. Ilgar Muradov sings Asgar's role and Khuraman Gasimova
to right: 1. Tarlan Gorchu, who conceived of
the marionette theater and directs it.
2 & 3. Polish audiences in Warsaw at the Transcaucasian Festival.
require incredible coordination and teamwork. A maximum of five
puppeteers can be "on stage" at one time.
Left: Vali, a marionette in Arshin Mal Alan.
Other crewmembers operate lighting and assist with transforming
the stage and decorations and preparing marionettes for the upcoming
scenes. Other stage crew who joined Tarlan Gorchu in Warsaw include
Hikmat Huseinov, Hasan Yagubov, Ilgar Rasulov, Mehman Musabeyov,
Rizvan Alasgar, Ramiz Aliyev, Abbasali Mustafayev.
The program was sponsored by Warsaw Municipality and initiated
by Studio O of Poland under the management of Witek Hebanowski.
TVP 3, televised them. The puppeteers soon hope to return to
Poland for a month and perform in three different cities.
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