http://gdb.rferl.org/E07C0C13-7E99-4ECC-8EA4-B048E4455EC6_w203.gif --> http://gdb.rferl.org/E07C0C13-7E99-4ECC-8EA4-B048E4455EC6_mw800_mh600.gif
DUSHANBE, April 6, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The Norouz 2007 Central Asian theater festival opened today in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported.
Five professional theater groups from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are participating in the event. Six plays -- comedies and dramas in four regional languages -- are scheduled to be played during the three-day festival.
Abdulghani Abdughafforov, a Kyrgyz playwright participating in the event, told RFE/RL the festival aims to build cultural bridges between the Central Asia countries, which have now been separated by heavily guarded borders.
"We share common national traditions and spiritual values," Abdughafforov said.
"We have the same music. No one can separate us -- not even customs, borders and customs departments. We will always stay close, hopefully. We are pleased that [this event] brings our cultures even closer. This cooperation has a bright future," Abdughafforov added.
Today's opening ceremony was followed by Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata opera performed by the Tajik State Opera and Ballet Theater.
The Norouz theater festival takes place every year in one of the Central Asian capitals.
Music On Film, Film On Music
CENTRAL EUROPE MEETS CENTRAL ASIA: A Prague-based festival featuring nearly 100 films about music from around the world placed a spotlight on the musical culture of Central Asia -- still one of the world's best-kept secrets. Films gave a glimpse into the lives of musicians in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was on hand for a live musical performance.
WATCH View a short RFE/RL video presentation of the event (about 90 seconds). RealVideo