Seraglio Greek and Turkish Folkloric Ballet to be Presented on Saturday March 2 at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theater

The Seraglio Ballet cast

Forty dancers and actors weave a tale of forbidden love that will transport the audience to Ottoman-era Istanbul.

This production is a dream come true. Elaborate stage sets, costumes, choreography, and a wonderful blend of Greek and Turkish music will create an enchanting evening of cultural immersion.”

— Alexandra King

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, February 3, 2024 / — Seraglio is a gripping tale of love set against a dying Ottoman empire. Professionally trained dancers and actors will perform the 3-part ballet in historically informed costumes. Like Romeo and Juliet, Seraglio’s star-crossed lovers are Greek immigrant Minos Calimeris (Gavin Martinez) and Turkish noblewoman Yasmin Turman (Zia Zografos). The animosity between the Greek and Turkish communities is intense and abiding, so their forbidden love forces them to meet secretly. Enter evil snake charmer Belkazin (Arturo Casco), who discovers the couple and informs Yasmin’s elder brother, Faruk (Matthew Willis). As tensions escalate, Yasmin’s confidante, the Romani gypsy Aisha (Nilay Engin), pleads with Yasmin to leave Minos. However, the protagonists will not be deterred and are willing to risk their lives for love. In the climax, Faruk confronts Minos in a Greek tavern, resulting in a fight to the death.

Alexandra King, known as the “Queen of Middle Eastern Dance,” is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, and master teacher who co-founded the UCSB Middle East Ensemble. She is a highly respected expert on the cultural dances of North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. After seeing Carlos Saura’s film “Carmen,” her idea to produce Seraglio was conceived.

“Inspired by Carlos Saura’s adaptation of the opera “Carmen” with Flamenco, I wrote Seraglio and choreographed it with Greek and Turkish Dance. I’m also writing a screenplay for the film, so doing what Saura did but in reverse,” said King. “This production at the Arlington Theater is a dream come true. Our elaborate stage sets and lighting, costumes and choreography, and a wonderful blend of Greek and Turkish music will create an enchanting evening of cultural immersion.”

The magic of Seraglio can be experienced for one night only at the Arlington Theater on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at the Arlington box office and online. Follow Seraglio on Facebook and Instagram for updates and behind-the-scenes moments. Media kit available on request.

Alexandra King
Alexandra King Dance Productions
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Seraglio Ballet Trailer

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