by Burak Akinci
ANKARA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The arts and culture sector has been severely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but some audience was lucky enough to enjoy this week a unique performance staged by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet (ADOB) group.
"Tango Night," combining music, dance and singing, was staged Wednesday evening in the Turkish capital to a delighted audience fed up with a global health crisis that is restricting both art and life.
The event concentrated on the music of Argentine Tango composer Astor Piazzolla and its "healing effects on the audience," said the organizers.
The one-hour sold-out performance was a modern dance show with a tango spirit accompanied by songs.
Dancers and musicians wore face masks during the show, while singers stayed with a safe distance from each other, complying to the government's health rules.
The first female director of Turkey's ADOB, soprano Feryal Turkoglu, said to the media that the aim of these performances was to minimize the anxiety of arts lovers with drastic safety measures.
She said that in October, they performed the Mozart Requiem concert with two pianos, during which the choir wearing masks sat distant from each other, and that the soloists worked distantly on the stage and during the rehearsals as well.
Music enthusiasts, who have stayed away from concert halls due to the coronavirus outbreak, have begun once again to enjoy concerts and performances at the the Ankara Opera House in October.
Events have been held in a safe environment where seating arrangements are in accordance with the hygiene and social distancing rules set by the Ministry of Health.
"It is our priority to protect the health of our artists and audiences without sacrificing art," Turkoglu said, adding that the institution is disinfected every other day, and the stage is disinfected after each rehearsal.
Sevil Isgin, a retired secretary, was among the audiences during "Tango Night" and told Xinhua that she was delighted to be reunited with art.
"I am over 60 and I have to be very careful with where I go these days, but I enjoyed myself very much during the show. There is nothing better than music and dance to alleviate the dreads of daily life as we are surrounded by a barrage of news about this coronavirus," she said.
Isgin regretted, however, that recent surge in COVID-19 cases has prompted president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to announce new restrictions.
"It seems that we have to remain confined in our homes for several months again, and we will possibly stay away from events such as this one," she added.
Turkish government urged "tight disciplines" on Wednesday, including new weekend curfews, online education and restrictions on restaurants, cafes, plays and movie theaters that will last until the end of the year, to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The Ankara Opera House is also planning an innovative and special ballet for the pandemic for the coming months. The name of the work is "19" and it was inspired by the COVID-19.
The libretto will dwell upon the anxiety that the pandemic has brought on the ordinary citizens and the pain of the necessity of physical distancing from one's loved ones, said producers of the forthcoming event. Enditem