About MAP

International Theater Festival of Baku

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 theater to help audience explore a wide range of contemporary theatrical forms.

“Theater presents us all that our soul feels as vague and ambiguous sensations with high-sounding words and bright images, the power of which amazes us.”

Friedrich Schiller

Most probably, we do not look at the playbill for months or on the contrary, lingeringly plan a march to a play, wondering how we can catch the premiere or how to carve some couple of hours out from the busy working schedule. Time slips past and the days run away like sand particles in the hourglass, and we put it off for later, always run behind the time or not make it in time …

Some people calm themselves with the thought that we live in “Non-Theatrical Time”, where all the answers to questions of present interest may rather be found in auteur cinematography and spiritual practice.

The teams involved in this year’s M.A.P. Festival would reject such statement. Because each performance, which has been carefully chosen by us, combines best traditions of psychological theater and spectacular show, highest acting skills and scenography that completely changes our world perception.

In my opinion, theater has always been and will remain as a special place where real magic is created.

This is all the more true for modern theater, a synthesized and complex in form and content, built on the principles of interactivity and high technologies. Such a theater fully reflects the reality and wild rhythm of life in big cities. It excites our mind and soul, helps to better understand ourselves and our time. Its language is equally understandable both for inveterate theater-goers and inexperienced spectators.

We designed M.A.P. Festival to ensure that all the new and interesting things exciting the viewers around the world come to stay on the Azerbaijani stage and firmly become part of our theatrical life.

This year will present you brightest and memorable performances which have been marked with various awards of international reviews, as well as large selection of lectures and master classes.
We sincerely believe that our festival will bring you strong and deep emotions and become a traditional phenomenon for Baku, and each of the events will be discussed for a long time.

– Aida Mahmudova / Founder of MAP Festival

For me, theatre has always been a very mystical space that I try to explore. This is where actor and spectator live together, mutually empathising with each other, each one choosing their own path. Sometimes my theatre can be paradoxical and grotesque, in order to awaken magical powers within the actors on stage. My ideal theatre is close to one that carries on the traditions of Jerzy Grotowski, Antonin Artaud and Michael Chekhov, aimed at developing the psychophysical process of the actor and their capabilities to work with their internal energy.

Theatre without borders. This is what I would like to contribute to M.A.P. Festival’s concept. This is a festival that destroys borders, connects cultures and brings together mutually empathetic people together with the help of the so-called ‘theatrical bridge’.

Erasing the boundaries between theatre directions, we would like to show a general festival palette of different bright colours, including all kinds of performance art, starting from clownery and physical theatre to opera, ballet and audiovisual performances. Considering the modern trends of the theatrical world, we want to surprise Azerbaijani viewers with new ideas and give them opportunities to choose between different types of theatre.

It is this opportunity to choose your own favourite theatre genres that is the main objective of M.A.P.

With its wonderful infrastructure, numerous theatrical venues, parks and boulevards, Baku deserves to be the main character of
our festival.

I’m sure that theatre is our society’s mirror and soul. I can accept the concept of “theater national” by no means. The theater is a universal phenomenon with a synthetic language and it is available to every nation. As for our theatrical legacy, it is traditional arena theater, dating back to the depths of the centuries. We still traditionally remember this concept during Novruz holiday. We also gave the world our own branch of the opera. Mugam opera made a great contribution to and enriched the theatrical world. We love theater, we understand it. It is time to upvote it with our visits and participation in theatrical life. You can love the theater, you can also hate it, but you cannot feel indifferent about it. 

I’m very grateful to YARAT CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE and personally Aida Mahmudova for this great opportunity to pass on my knowledge and experience to Azerbaijan audience.

М.А.Р is your theatre holiday. Welcome to M.A.P.

– Kamran Shahmardan/ Artistic Director of M.A.P. Festival

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