Khorezm Lazgi: The Sunniest Dance on Earth

Lazgi is a must-see of Khorezm. Lazgi is the dance with a feel-good factor, making you feel a joie de vivre or zest for life. There is an opinion that the meaning of the ancient word ‘lazgi’ is ‘tremble,’ which describes a very energetic movement of the body along with the vibrant musical rhythms and expressive facial mimics.

On 12th December 2019, during the 14th session of The UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Bogota (Colombia) the Khorezm dance Lazgi was inscribed onto the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (ICHH).

The history of Lazgi is wrapped in a shroud of legends and myths, which makes it truly magical and mysterious. If you want to know more about the Khorezm Lazgi, check out my article published on Voices on Central Asia platform. The platform is a collaboration between the Central Asia Program (CAP) and the Central Asian Analytical Network (CAAN), both part of The George Washington University‘s Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES).

If you want to see how the Khorezmians dance today, check my you tube channel.

Dilorom Mamedova, Khorezmian dancer, oil, 2019, 100 X 70

Magic of Dance Festival: Khiva, Ichan Kala, September 2019

In September 2019, I was invited to the famous Raqs Sehri (Magic of Dance) Festival that took place in Khiva’s Itchan Kala. Itchan Kala is an inner old town of Khiva surrounded by the ancient thick walls (some of the walls reach 10 metres in height). It is a UNESCO-protected site, which in the past used to be the place for restoration for the caravans preparing to cross the desert to Iran. The place has a number of architectural monuments of outstanding beauty and historical significance.

The Festival took place in the Open Summer Theatre in Itchan Kala, which added a magic touch to the whole event. It was an unforgettable event which gave me a unique chance to experience the excitement of the Festival, meet incredible people – Festival’s organisers, dancers from many countries, choreographers, researchers, journalists and, mainly, enjoy the warm hospitality of the Khorezmians, the lovely Uzbek food and abundance of bright colours in the sunshine. I must say, the Khorezminas are very special people with their own language and culture. They are also multitalented people and dancing is in their blood! If you want to see some of the dances, check out my you tube channel.