Performance | Qyrq Qyz — Forty Girls

The Provost's Office invites you to join us for Qyrq Qyz, presented by FirstWorks’ Frontier Series in collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative. 

Across the steppes of Central Asia, modern bards still sing the tale of Gulaim, the teenage warrior who defended ancient clans from Eastern invaders with the help of her qyrq qyz, or 40 girls, Amazons of Turkic legend.

Enduring for centuries in a male-dominated epic tradition, this powerful matriarchal narrative comes to full-throated life in the Aga Khan Music Initiative’s multimedia retelling, conceived and directed by internationally acclaimed Uzbek film and video artist Saodat Ismailova.

As the next generation of Turkic female poets and storytellers sing Gulaim’s legend—accompanying themselves on dutar (two-stringed lute), kyl-kiyak (two-stringed bowl fiddle) and jaw harp–Ismailova’s mesmerizing video, scored by acclaimed Tashkent-based composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, weaves an emotional tapestry of legendary female power.

Presented by FirstWorks in partnership with the Provost’s Office, as part of RISD's Social Equity Inclusion Initiative. 

Note: A limited number of complimentary tickets will be made available to the RISD community before the event. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 7:30pm

RISD Auditorium
17 Canal Walk, Providence RI

Event Type

Film, Performance or Concert, Special Event


Academic Affairs



$25 advance, $30 at door, $15 students with ID

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