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    M.A.P. festival to be held in Baku with the sponsorship of Bakcell

    YARAT Contemporary Art Space is pleased to announce the second edition of M.A.P. International Theatre Festival, held in various major venues across Baku from 6 – 11 November 2018. Serving as a platform for communication, education, exchange of knowledge and experience, M.A.P. Festival - an acronym for music, art and performance - combines different forms of theatre to help audiences explore a wide range of contemporary theatrical forms. The festival continually expands its geographical focus, and this year presents 16 performances by theatre companies from Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Russia and the United Kingdom. The second edition hosts an ambitious agenda informed by the artistic director of the project, Kamran Shahmardan, and his concept of ‘theatre without borders’. Shahmardan proposes a festival that erases borders, connects cultures and unites people through the arts: By erasing the boundaries between different theatrical forms, we would like to showcase a broad palette of media used in contemporary theatre, from street performances to opera and ballet, audiovisual productions and clownery. By highlighting diversity we will give the freedom of choice to the public. At M.A.P. Festival, Shahmardan also presents Alexander Vampilov’s play Duck Hunting. Considered one of the most controversial texts in Russian 20th century dramaturgy, the play successfully premiered in Spring 2018 in the Estonian Vene Teater. The festival opens with a programme that includes a multi-disciplinary show Aria by the Italian collective NoGravity Theatre. Combining choreography, singing and costume, the performance includes musical compositions from Monteverdi, Vivaldi and Pergolesi. Merging together a number of artistic genres, dancers, musicians and singers, all equally play a central role in this performance. Among the most anticipated events of the festival is the arrival of the legendary Mariinsky Theatre with a modern version of Joseph Haydn’s opera The Desert Island, conducted by Javad Tagi-zade, a young Azerbaijani talent. Other performances include La Verità, an acrobatic poem by the world acclaimed director and choreographer Daniele Finzi Pasca, and Gogol Centre, one of the most cutting-edge theatre companies in Moscow, which presents a new production of Who Is Happy in Russia? based on Nikolai Nekrasov's renowned poem.   A rich programme of workshops and lectures accompanies the performances, enabling emerging directors, actors, playwrights and other professionals to meet and learn from their fellow colleagues. Among this year's highlights includes a workshop entitled How to write a play by Russian playwright and screenwriter Yulia Tupikina; an intensive one-day acting workshop led by director, actor and musician Alexander Dzyuba; a lecture on Japanese Theatre from Motoi Miura, the director of Chiten Theatre; and Marina Davydova, a theatre historian and critic, who discusses the evolution of the modern theatrical production. Dimitris Stamou and Demy Papada from Merlin Puppet Theatre introduce the youngest spectators to the art of playing with light through their work with light and shadow. M.A.P. Festival, a highlight of Azerbaijan’s autumn calendar, invites a return of theatre to its former weight and significance in the cultural life of Baku. The festival is organized with support of Bakcell, the first mobile operator and leading mobile internet provider of Azerbaijan:: “M.A.P. Festival is a significant contribution to the development of art in Azerbaijan and an acknowledgment of Azerbaijani art in the world. This is a unique opportunity for people engaged in music, art and performance to demonstrate their works together with international professionals. Bakcell has been the main sponsor of M.A.P Festival from the first year. Being a national telecoms operator, Bakcell is committed to supporting projects that contribute to the development of music and arts in Azerbaijan” said Bakcell CEO Nikolai Beckers. YARAT is partnering with all major theatre venues in Baku, including the Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theatre, the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Azerbaijan State Russian Drama Theatre, the Azerbaijan State Musical Theatre, the Azerbaijan State Theatre of Young Spectators, the Azerbaijan State Puppet Theatre, ÜNS Creative Stage and Baku Convention Center. M.A.P. Festival coincides with Pedro Gómez-Egaña’s exhibition The Caspian Observatory at YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, November 9, 2018 – February 10, 2019.  ***  About YARAT  YARAT is an artist-founded, not-for-profit art organisation based in Baku, Azerbaijan, established by Aida Mahmudova in 2011. YARAT (which means 'create' in Azerbaijani) is dedicated to contemporary art with a long-term commitment to creating a hub for artistic practice, research, thinking and education in the Caucasus, Central Asia and surrounding region. YARAT comprises YARAT Art Centre, ARTIM Project Space, YARAT Studios, YAY Gallery and an extended educational and public programme. YARAT Art Centre, a 2000m² converted Soviet-era naval building, opened in March 2015 and is the organisation’s main exhibition space. The exhibition programme features new commissions by artists responding to the region. It supports and provides access to artists from the region, while engaging and introducing established, international artists. In October 2015, YARAT opened ARTIM, a central, accessible and dynamic space in Baku’s Old City. ARTIM (meaning 'progress' in Azerbaijani) shows experimental practices and new work by emerging Azerbaijani art professionals (selected through open calls) and international artists from the residency programme. It features multiple small-scale projects each year and hosts ARTIM LAB, a programme enabling young artists to engage in workshops and daily studio practice to generate new ideas and works. In 2016, YARAT launched a renewed residency programme. Aimed at developing young Azerbaijani voices and emerging international artists, the focus is on new, innovative practices and artists with an interest in the region. The residency programme hosts six international and four local artists a year at YARAT Studios’ spaces. Education has been at the heart of YARAT's activities since its creation. With a dedicated public programme that includes courses, workshops, lectures, screenings, festivals, literature and theatre clubs and family weekends, YARAT aims to give access to broad audiences of all ages. The public programme invests proactively in building communities and nurturing a wider understanding of, and participation in, contemporary art. *** About Bakcell Bakcell, the First Mobile Operator and Leading Mobile Internet Provider of Azerbaijan, offers a wide range of products and services to users of modern mobile telecommunications. The company provides its customers with the best-in-class 4G mobile internet. With more than 7000 base stations, Bakcell network covers 99% of the population and 93% of the land area of the country (except for the occupied territories). In 2017, Bakcell network has been recognized as the “Best in Test” in Azerbaijan by P3 Communications, being one of the most trusted independent authorities in mobile benchmarking. The 4G services of Bakcell are already available in Baku and Absheron peninsula, as well as central parts of more than 30 regions of Azerbaijan. For more information about Bakcell products and services, please visit or call 555. For press releases please see (or for press releases in English). If you are not a Bakcell subscriber, but wish to find out about Bakcell and its products and services, please call 012 498 89 89.