Last October, I took an opportunity of traveling to Uzbekistan to see my cousin’s family living in Tashkent and at the same time explore this country’s cultural and historical heritage. I saw Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara. There is not enough words to describe the beauty and richness of the historical and cultural sites of these cities, the buzz and diversity of the Uzbek bazaars full of fascinating goods, foodstuffs and fragrant spices. But one of my interests was to explore the past and the present of the Uzbek dance and meet the people who are taking great care of preserving this unique art. I was lucky to be introduced to a legendary person who has played an outstanding role in developing the Uzbek national dance, and the people who are currently devoting their time, energy and passion to further development and promotion of the Uzbek dance.
The Voices of Central Asia, an online platform of Central Asia Programme supported by George Washington University (USA), published an English version of my blog Uzbek Dance Art: Past and Present – In the Wake of Tashkent Encounters. This story is a result of my long-standing fascination with the Uzbek dance. It describes my encounters with some beautiful people who generously opened up to me and shared their stories, knowledge and, most importantly, their love to their profession.
Please read an English version here. The original full version (in Russian) titled ‘‘Узбекское танцевальное искусство в прошлом и настоящем: по следам ташкентских встреч’ is published on the online platform of Central Asia Analytical Network (CAAN) here. I hope you find both versions interesting and informative!