Azerbaijani ballet

Azerbaijani ballet (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan baleti) is the training methods and aesthetic qualities seen in classical ballet in Azerbaijan.

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The Azerbaijani ballet originated in 1940, with the creation of the Maiden Tower ballet by Afrasiyab Badalbeyli.[1] During that period, ballet was a relatively new genre for Azerbaijani spectators, but Maiden Tower managed to attract a large audience. It notably featured the first Azerbaijani ballerina, Gamar Almaszadeh, Badalbeyli's wife at the time.[2]

The ballet Gulshan written by Soltan Hajibeyov was the second ballet staged successfully at the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in 1950.[3]

Azerbaijani ballet became known outside of Azerbaijan thanks to two ballets by Gara Garayev: Seven Beauties and The Path of Thunder.[4]

Dancers such as Gamar Almaszadeh, Leyla Vakilova, Konstantin Batashov, Rafiga Akhundova, Vladimir Pletnyov and Chimnaz Babayeva made great contributions in Azerbaijani ballet.[5][6] In addition, directors such as Ismayil Hidayetzade, Mehdi Mammadov, Adil Isgandarov, Sultan Dadashov and Firudin Safarov and conductors such as Niyazi, Ashraf Hasanov, Ahad Israfilzade, Rauf Abdullayev and Kamal Abdullayev also contributed to the development of Azerbaijani ballet.[6]

In 1969, dancers of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater were awarded a diploma by the Paris Dance Academy at the International Dance Festival held at Champs-Élysées theater in Paris.[7]

In 2010, the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater celebrated its 100th anniversary.[8]

On 13 October 2014, Garayev's ballet Seven Beauties premiered in United States at the San Diego Civic Theatre in San Diego, California.[9][10]

Notable ballets

Scene from the ballet The Maiden Tower by Afrasiyab Badalbeyli
Scene from the ballet Leyli and Majnun by Gara Garayev
Scene from the ballet Love and Death by Polad Bülbüloğlu

The most important ballets in the Azerbaijani repertoire include:

Notable dancers


  1. "Müsəlman Şərqində ilk balet". (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  2. Shahverdiyev, Karim. "Azərbaycan baletini yaradısı, səhnəmizin şahzadəsi Qəmər xanım Almaszadə". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  3. Almaszade, Gamar. "My Life as Azerbaijan's First Ballerina". Azerbaijan International. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  4. Sharifov, Azad. "Remembering Gara Garayev". Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  5. "Qəmər Almaszadə". Archived from the original on 2014-07-03.
  6. АЗЕРБАЙДЖАНСКИЙ БАЛЕТ в энциклопедии балета. (in Russian). Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  7. Азербайджанский театр оперы и балета. (in Russian). Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  8. Maclachlan, Fiona. "Happy Hundredth! Azerbaijan's State Theatre of Opera and Ballet Approaches its Centenary". Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  9. Gusman, Carolina. "SD Ballet premieres 'Seven Beauties'". Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  10. "Azerbaijani Ballet 'Seven Beauties' premieres in the United States to great acclaim". Retrieved 28 October 2014.
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