The ballet “Afife,” which tells the life story of the first Turkish theater actress Afife Jale, will be staged this month after a 14-year hiatus. The ballet was last performed by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet.
Jale was the first Muslim theater actress and chose to take the stage despite the fact that it was forbidden for Muslim women to perform during the 1900s. She continued to perform as an actress in the face of social pressure and negative comments.
The performance is an example of modern Turkish ballet and dance drama, reflecting different parts of Jale’s life in gold, red, purple and silver costumes. A 25-person cast will tell her life story through lyrical and modern dances. Tülay Yalçınkaya, Zuhal Balkan, Ebru Cansız, Deniz Zirek and İlke Kodal will all be playing Jale’s character, while one of the most important people in Jale’s life, Ziya, will be played by Erhan Güzel. Berk Sarıbay will represent the character of “Mehmet Ali” and Egemen Kement that of “Dr. Suat.”
The cartography and libretto of the show were organized by Beyhan Murphy, the music arranged by Turgay Erdener and costumes created by Turkish fashion designer Bahar Korçan.
The ballet will premiere at Süreyya Opera in Kadıköy on Nov. 22 and be performed on Nov. 24, 27 and 29, as well as Dec. 1.