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Theatre art preserving our rich cultural heritage has passed glorious development way

On the basis of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev dated March 1, 2013, every year, March 10 is marked as “National Theatre Day” in our country.

Grounding on Gobustan, Gamigaya pictographic depicts, researchers say that theatre traditions in the territory of Azerbaijan date back ancient times. Folk plays, street and anecdote performances created by our nation, holiday fancies are the first examples of our theater art. In “Sayachi”, “Novruz”, “Lal oyunu”, “Gudul”, “Kosa-kosa”, “Maral oyunu”, “Kilimarasi”, “Gasvas” and other ceremony, ethno-cultural plays we see the first elements of our theatre art.

The professional Azerbaijani theatre founded by M.F.Akhundov’s “The vizier of Lankaran khan” in March 1873, has overcome all difficulties and passed glorious development way. The selflessness of the great intellectuals of their time such as Hasan bey Zardabi, Najaf bey Vazirov and Asgaragha Adigozelov in theatre field caused to establish theatre movement in Azerbaijan. On May 11, 1883, Haji  Najaf Zeynalov, the progressive intellectual of his time, staged Mirza Fatali Akhundzadeh's comedy “Monsieur Jordan  and Darvish Mastali Shah”  in his house situated in famous “Zaviya” block of Nakhchivan, and the Nakhchivan Theater was laid.

From the time of Nakhchivan Theater founded, it has had ties with mighty representatives of the Azerbaijani theater art and always felt the moral support of its colleagues. Eynali bey Sultanov, Jalil Mammadguluzadeh, Mahammadtaghi Sidgi and other prominent intellectuals displayed real selflessness in the field of theatre development. During the years that Nakhchivan Theater founded, the performances of magnificent artists from Baku with the actors of Nakhchivan Theater, their moral support increased the professionalism of our theater. The creative relationships of these friends influenced the deep-seated Nakhchivan theater and the performance of more beautiful works for the spiritual enlightenment and spiritual awakening of the people.

As a result of the efforts and support of national leader Heydar Aliyev, who had   great care for the art figures, the theater has embarked on a rapid development path in the 70s of the last century. The great leader praised the theater art, which has rich creative traditions of our people, said: "People have always combined spirituality. Because the moral foundations are stronger than other principles. They are constantly instilled through the art. Literature has a great influence on people. But there is one thing that a person can read any work himself, or he can see it live on the stage. That's why theater plays a great role in our lives. The theater is a holy place, it is a school of education, and those who work there are self-sacrificing".

During the years of independence when the great statesman Heydar Aliyev led our country, our national theater has grown into a true development, material and technical basis has been strengthened, professional actors and directors have been formed. Starting from this period, care and attention to the theaters has been increased, consistent measures have been taken to improve the creative conditions of writers, actors and directors, their work has been appreciated. The salaries of theater collectives have been increased, the jubilee of actors, directors and dramatists have been widely celebrated, and international relations of the Azerbaijani theater have expanded.

The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev increased the care and attention to theatres. Important reforms have been carried out in this area in recent years, and theater buildings have been reconstructed. The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On theater and theater activities" adopted in 2006, the Decree of the President "On the development of Azerbaijani theatre art" dated February 19, 2007” and “The State Program on the development of Azerbaijani Theater for 2009-2019” have played an important role in strengthening the material-technical base of our national theater, developing the creative potential of collectives.

 Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic also provides comprehensive care for the theaters. In recent years, in the autonomous republic, consistent measures have been undertaken to strengthen the material and technical base of theaters, the theater buildings have been reconstructed or repaired and put into operation. Nakhchivan State Musical Drama Theater named after J.Mammadguluzadeh, Nakhchivan State Puppet Theater named after M.T.Sidgi, Nakhchivan State Children's Theater, 5 Folk theaters, Student Theater Studio of Nakhchivan State University play an important role in forming the audience's spiritual and aesthetic taste, meaningful organization of leisure time. The Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Vasif Talibov said: "The Nakhchivan Theater has supported progressive ideas in all periods of its existence, has influenced the actual issues of the day and has worked for national revival".

During the years of independence, the creative search of the Nakhchivan State Musical Drama Theater, touring tours expanded and became a professional propagandist of our collective national values. The Nakhchivan Theater has been on tour in the cities of Ankara, Istanbul, Bursa, Trabzon, Kars, Erzurum, Igdir, Denizli, Tarsus of the Republic of Turkey, Tabriz, Maku and other cities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, gained the sympathy of theater lovers in these countries. The performances of the Nakhchivan Theater in Baku and other regions of Azerbaijan were also met with interest, and our talented actors gained wide audience love. Our theater always focuses on the richness of the repertoire, stages valuable samples of our classic and contemporary dramaturgy, the works of world classics.

The performances of the Nakhchivan State Musical Drama Theater, which marks its 135th anniversary this year are distinguished for the variety of styles, structures and genres. The performances “Atabegs”, "Pompey's march to the Caucasus", “Sheykh Sanan”, “Satan”, “The Ruler and daughter”, “Nadir shah”, “The fate of Mirja Jalil”, “The dead”, “Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar”, “Alinja fortress”, “Koroghlu’s return to Chanlibel”, “Oh Paris, Paris!..”, “Among the bees” and “Blue bird” performances  distinguished by their style, structure genre-diverse are the result of the creative search of the theater.

The Nakhchivan State Puppet Theater named after M. T. Sidgi is also surrounded with high care as the second theater created in our autonomous republic. The theatre provided with a new building in 2004,  played a significant role to establish international cultural relations with Turkey, Tajikistan, Iran through its tours to these countries. The Nakhchivan State Children's Theater, established by the Decree of the Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic dated October 4, 2006, has won children’s hearts with performances prepared in different years.

Today, folk theatres operate successfully in the cities and regions of the autonomous republic. “Kamancha”, “Hungry naive people”, “Confusion”, “For fame”, “Aesop”, “Husband and wife”, “I cannot forget”, “Gasham’s dream”, “The cheat”, “A form of home education”, “Unlucky young man”, “Tbilisi visit” performances prepared by folk theatres are met with interest by the public.

During independent years a number of successful measures related to the study of Nakhchivan theatre have been carried out, monographs and books have been published. “The chronicle of Nakhchivan theatre” published by the care and attention of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is worthy of high value. The important scientific information related to Nakhchivan theatre, photos and other materials are presented to readers for the first time in this book.

Consistent measures are implemented to prepare young actors in the autonomous republic. There is profession of actor specialty at Nakhchivan State University. As a result, every year, dozens of young people join the state or the folk theaters, and find their way to the heart of the theater fans.

The work of actors those who are distinguished in the theater art is also appreciated in the autonomous republic.   Creative people have been awarded with honorary titles, orders and medals of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Presidential scholarships and prizes.

Our theaters have always served to the renewal and development of national thought, social life in all historical processes. Our theatres have unique services in the moral evolution of our people, in raising the cultural level, bringing great ideals to the public, strengthening our state independence. The Nakhchivan Theater continues its activities with its progressive traditions today.

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Date: 22-06-2018
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