Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2006 (14.3)

Maiden Tower in Music
Click on photos to enlarge.


38. The musical score to Azerbaijan's first ballet "Giz Galasi" (Maiden Tower) composed by Afrasiyab Badalbeyli in 1941.

39,40. Scene from Maiden Tower from the revision made to Badalbeyli's ballet. The new version of the ballet rids the plot of ideological propaganda. This time, there is no father-daughter incestual relationship. The plot is simply: A khan sees a beautiful girl, Gulyanag, in one of the villages that is under his authority. He wants to marry her, but she already has a fiancé, Polad. When the khan tries to force her to marry him, Gulyanag asks him to build a tower, hoping to gain some time. He does so.

There's more to the new production than just a new story line. There are new stage sets, new costumes and a new, rich orchestral arrangement by Musa Mirzayev. See "Maiden's Tower Ballet: "New Plot Rids Soviet Propaganda," AI 7.4 (Winter 1999). Search at

41. Famous ballerina, the late Gamar Almaszade, performing the role of the maiden in Azerbaijan's first ballet, Maiden Tower by composer Afrasiyab Badalbeyli. 1941. See "My Life as Azerbaijan's First Ballerina," by Gamar Almaszade, AI 10.3 (Autumn 2002).

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(Autumn 2006)

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