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 SERAGLIO A Folkloric Ballet

"Two lovers risk everything to be together in Ottoman Istanbul"

Premiering 1989 in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Ojai and Salt Lake City, SERAGLIO is a three-act folkloric ballet about star-crossed lovers in early twentieth century Istanbul. It is the story of a Turkish girl and Greek boy who fall in love, despite their cultural and class differences and decide to risk everything to be together. She is the youngest daughter of the wealthy Turman family and he is a poor Greek immigrant who seeks a better life in the metropolis of Istanbul. When their relationship is discovered, they are forced to face the reality that their love and their lives are threatened.


Through the lens of the Aegean conflict, Seraglio reflects the hardship of young lovers who bare the cross of forbidden love in a multicultural society; it reflects the universal struggle of immigrants to assimilate. Like Romeo and Juliet or Tony and Maria of West Side Story, Seraglio tells the age-old story of star-crossed lovers from a fresh perspective, and in a new style - folk dance, thus disrupting the status quo of dance theater as a European art.  


With 40 dancers, actors and a snake, elaborate sets and a grand score, Seraglio brought all the power and passion of Greek and Turkish music and dance to the stage again on Saturday March 2nd, 2024 at the fabulous Arlington Theater!

“You transported us all into the dreamy, magical landscape that is Seraglio! From the tone, rhythm and feel of Turkey more than a hundred years ago, to the timeless epic battle for true love amidst repression and conflict. The bright colors of stage, costume and lighting delighted the eyes. It was a traveling marvel. And a snake dancing! What pure delight. The only sad note was it lasted but one night on stage. This time around. Here’s to the next time.” ~ Lori Hops, Guest and Donor.

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