Category: Dance Festival


 

by Gordiya Khademian

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On June 5, 2016, Silk Road Dance Company helped represent Iran at the Fiesta Asia street fair in Washington DC. This was the first time Iran has ever been represented at Fiesta Asia, thanks to the hard work of a group of young Iranian-American professionals in the Washington, DC area.

After an initial procession of costumes and banners down Pennsylvania Avenue, representing countries across the continent of Asia, Silk Road Dance Company first performed on the main stage, with the impressive Capitol Building creating a striking image behind them. Their performance, choreographed by Dr. Laurel Gray, consisted of three selections: Spring Rain in the Rose Gardens of Esfahan -a classical-style Persian dance to instrumental music; a Balochi folkloric dance; and a contemporary Persian dance to Moein’s Zendegi ba Toh.

Silk Road Dance Company performed again at the Iran tent for a smaller, more intimate audience. The day was filled with energy and excitement as people learned more about Iran’s diverse culture, dress, music, and dance. It was an honor to be able to share this heritage in our nation’s capital. .

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by Rachel Zappala

Ahmad Maaty and the Silkies perform "Gur Nalo Ishq Mitha" at their "Bollywood Fever: concert, part of the 2013 Intersections Festival.

Ahmad Maaty and the Silkies perform “Gur Nalo Ishq Mitha” at Silk Road Dance Compay’s BOLLYWOOD FEVER concert, part of the 2013 Intersections Festival.

On March 2, 2013, the Silk Road Dance Company (SRDC) graced the stage of the Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Lang Theatre with their Bollywood Fever concert. Part of the annual Intersections Festival, this magnificent evening of sequin-clad escapism was beloved by more than just audience members; Bollywood Fever was a high-point of the performance season for many of the “Silkies,” as the members of Silk Road Dance Company are affectionately known.

Kat, one of the Silkies involved in Bollywood Fever, perfectly summarized her feelings towards the show. According to her, the fun music and lighthearted energy that Bollywood dancing creates in the rehearsal studio make for a bright spot in her week. This sentiment is certainly shared by many of her sister Silkies.

Shiraz, a new Silky who travels two hours from Delaware to get to SRDC rehearsals, loved her Bollywood Fever experience. Coming from an Arabic dance background, this was her first time ever time performing Bollywood dance. Her favorite part of the performance process has been how it has allowed her to access a different culture. “Dancing is universal,” she succinctly stated during a SRDC rehearsal. “Through different dance styles, you can appreciate other cultures and what they have to offer.”

Bollywood is also a departure from the norm for Ahmad, an Egyptian-American dancer and actor who recently earned his MFA from Pace University. He usually performs Arabic and Uzbek dance with SRDC but ever since the company’s Artistic Director, Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray introduced him to the style, he has loved the friendly, warm, and inviting energy that Bollywood dance exudes. His favorite pieces in Bollywood Fever are two seeming opposites – the Rajasthani Ghoomar dance which he loves for its tribal, grounded, high-energy movement, and the Kathak-inspired Suno Re, a piece that he describes as ethereal and appreciates for the peaceful and pleasant break that it provides from the rest of the high-energy pieces in the show.

Nilufar also loves the excitement and shared energy of Bollywood dancing. However, for her, the Bollywood Fever is much more personally significant. Originally from Uzbekistan, Nilufar takes great pride in her Central Asian origin. (After all, it was the Uzbek conqueror Babur who established India’s Moghul dynasty.) She sees Bollywood Fever not just as fun, but as a way for her to fulfill her duty to preserve and promote her Central Asian culture. Nilufar is also feels inspired and empowered while dancing Bollywood pieces. “For moments in the show, you get to experience being another person. It gives you a chance to have another life.”

Silk Road Dance Company is a 501(c)3 exempt tax non-profit organization.
Silk Road Dance Company ® is a Registered Trademark
The contents of this blogpost, including all text and images, are protected and may
not be used without the express written permission of Silk Road Dance Company®.
Copyright 2013, Silk Road Dance Company®. All rights reserved.

CherryBlossomFestivalSilkRoadDanceCompanyTidalBasin2012smallCelebrate Spring!

Stay current with out NOWRUZ EVENTS!

New shows are still
being confirmed, so make sure you know about
the latest additions.

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Dear Friends of Silk Road Dance Company,

Spring is just around the corner and so is Nowruz (also known as Navruz), the ancient celebration of the New Year observed at the Vernal Equinox and part of many Silk Road cultures.

Silk Road Dance Company has a full slate of performances in March, so we hope you can join us for at least one of these joyous events.

More concert details and links on our official website:
http://www.silkroaddance.com

MARCH CALENDAR

March 2 Bollywood Fever
Intersections Festival
1:30 PM Lang Theatre
Washington DC

March 9 Dance Metro DC
New Choreography
“The Pearl of the Gulf”
Intersections Festival
4:00 PM Lab Theatre

March 9 Dance Bethesda
Round House Theatre
7:20 PM Concert Prelude

March 9 Nowruz Celebration
Sheraton Premiere at Tyson’s Corner
Dinner at 8:30 PM

March 15 Nowruz Banquet
8:00 PM Columbus Grill
Manassas, Virgnia

March 16 Nowruz Commission
Mellon Auditorium
Invitation Only

March 17 Nowruz Celebration
Reston Towne Center

March 23 Wedding Celebration
Private Event

March 24 to be announced

March 30 to be announced

Save 10% on tickets for March 2, 2013

BOLLYWOOD FEVER — our exciting concert

celebrating the color and excitment of the Indian film industry.

Order your tickets by February 22nd,
and save 10% by using the code “SILKY.”

Follow this link and select your seats:
https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=ab9a6195833370cda6439e5686cbdac3


Silk Road Dance Company is a 501(c)3 exempt tax non-profit organization.
Silk Road Dance Company ® is a Registered Trademark
The contents of this blogpost, including all text and images, are protected and may
not be used without the express written permission of Silk Road Dance Company®.
Copyright 2013, Silk Road Dance Company®. All rights reserved.


The color and grace of Central Asian women’s dance will enliven the Seattle Asian Art Museum when DC-based Silk Road Dance Company presents a series of public programs and concerts on Saturday May 5th. The award-winning ensemble will share rare dance traditions in stunning costumes in conjunction with the current “Colors of the Oasis” exhibition of Uzbek textiles.

Seattle, Washington — The award-winning Silk Road Dance Company will share the beauty of Uzbek dance at the Seattle Asian Art Museum on May 5, 2012. Based in Washington, D.C., the dance ensemble will present family friendly daytime shows as well as two evening concerts in conjunction with the Colors of the Oasis exhibit of Central Asian textiles.

SAAM’s current Colors of the Oasis exhibition features dazzling textiles that were created in the oasis cities of Central Asia, primarily Uzbekistan. Silk Road Dance Company’s extensive repertoire of Uzbek dances and colorful traditional costumes will provide another dimension to exhibit. Family friendly daytime programs at 11 am, noon, and 1 pm, are free to the public. Tickets are required for the 6 pm and 8 pm evening concerts and can be reserved online.

Silk Road Dance Company performs throughout the US and internationally in Uzbekistan, Qatar and Canada. The ensemble’s pioneering performances offer a unique glimpse of the life and art of little known cultures, especially the Islamic world

Silk Road Dance Company (SRDC) has deep ties to the Seattle area through Artistic Director Laurel Victoria Gray, who founded the ensemble in 1995. A native of Washington state and former Seattle resident, Gray was active in the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association and lived in Tashkent for two years to study traditional dance and culture.

Seattle residents can also study dance with Gray while she is in Seattle. She will help prepare a Silk Road themed marching team that will participate in the 2012 Fremont Solstice Parade. Rehearsals will take place at VDP studio, a business owned by Delilah Flynn, a Fremont resident and professional dancer who has for 20 years has organized dance teams for the parade.

Info on Silk Road Fremont Parade classes:
http://visionarydance.com/seattle-studio/class-info/solstice-parade-2012/

Online ticket for Silk Road Dance Company SAAM concerts:
http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/calendar/eventDetail.asp?eventID=23980&month=4&day=5&year=2012&sxID=&WHEN=
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Silk Road Dance Company is a 501(c)3 exempt tax non-profit organization.
Silk Road Dance Company ® is a Registered Trademark
The contents of this blogpost, including all text and images, are protected and may
not be used without the express written permission of Silk Road Dance Company®.
Copyright 2012 and 2013, Silk Road Dance Company®. All rights reserved.

Kizlarkhon Dusmukhamedova (r) and Laurel Victoria Gray


Kizlarkhon Dusmukhamedova, People’s Artist of Uzbekistan, is a world class dance artist who has visited the US fifteen times since 1979. Silk Road Dance Company is honored that Kizlarkhon is our Central Asian Dance Consultant and that she hasplayed such an active role in the development of our ensemble.

Silk Road Dance Company is located in the Washington DC area. We have cultivated a genuine and successful cultural exchange with Uzbekistan as well as other Central Asian and Middle Eastern cultures.

The origin of our Uzbek relationship dates back to the Soviet era when, in 1979, as a doctorial candidate in Russian and Soviet History at the University of Washington, our Artistic Director – Laurel Victoria Gray – volunteered to translate for a group of touring artists from Uzbekistan. (She had been to Uzbekistan as a teenager in 1973. ) That is when she first met the exceptional, superlative Uzbek dance artist, Kizlarkhon Dusmukhamedova, and began a lifelong exploration of Central Asian dance culture.

The details of meeting between Laurel Victoria Gray and Kizlarkhon Dusmukhamedova and their subsequent friendship can be found at http://laurelvictoriagray.com/bio.htm

Seattle and Tashkent became sister-cities in 1973. In fact, they were the very first Soviet-American sister cities. Many fledgling cultural exchanges between the US and the USSR were first launched through this historic relationship. Laurel became active in this committee and participated in numerous cultural exchanges, including Mayor Royer’s 1984 trip to Tashkent.

Thanks to the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Committee, Kizlarkhon returned to Seattle in 1982 with an official delegation from Tashkent and worked with Laurel and her dancers. Laurel continued to work on Soviet-American cultural exchange, inviting Kizlarkhon and other Uzbek artists to the US in 1989 and 1990.

This non-currency cultural exchange blossomed into the historic Seattle Soviet Theatre Arts Exchange, in which 30 theatre artists traveled to Uzbekistan and had home stays in Tashkent while presenting several concerts throughout the city, including performances at the lkhom Theatre.

This cultural exchange was the topic of Laurel’s 2009 Fulbright Association Selma Jeanne Cohen Lecture. Photos of this historic exchange – including pictures of Kizlarkhon – can be viewed at this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYbtFKGpDY0 )

Through Kizlarkhon’s generous spirit, Laurel was the first American to seriously study and perform Uzbek dance. She was invited to Uzbekistan many times to continue her dance studies and lived there for two years in 1992 and 1993. In order to share what she had learned and keep this precious legacy alive, Laurel has trained many dancers — both in the US and abroad –and, after moving to DC, created the Silk Road Dance Company in 1995.

With a colleague, Travis Jarrell, Laurel founded the Central Asian Dance Camp in 1995. They began by teaching the first classes themselves. Then in 1998, Laurel began inviting Kizlarkhon to the US to share her knowledge directly with a new generation of American dancers.

Now that Laurel lives in the DC area, she has been instrumental in inviting Kizlarkhon almost every year to come to the US to teach and perform for a small but dedicated group of Americans who are serious about mastering Central Asian dance.

Kizlarkhon embodies a traditional dance style which is rarely seen today but it lives on in her students. She has gifted Silk Road Dance Company with many famous Uzbek dances for our repertoire — Guldasta, Dil Kroch, Kungil Taronasi, Samarkand Ushoqi, Tong Malikasi, Gozel, Katta Oyin, Keling Gular, and many more. Silk Road Dance Company brings these traditional dances to American audiences.

Yes, American women performing Uzbek dances! This is genuine cultural exchange.
And in the spirit of cultural exchange, the Uzbeks have reciprocated. In 2005, Silk Road Dance Company was the first US dance company to be invited to perform at the Samarkand Sharq Taronalari Festival.

Silk Road Dance Company has been instrumental in sharing Uzbek culture with Americans for many years, with performances throughout the Washington DC area, as well as 14 different states, Uzbekistan, Canada, and Qatar. We have also presented programs at the State Department, the Secret Service, the National Defense University and Fort Meade.

Over the years, Silk Road Dance Company has been frequently called upon to perform at the Embassy of Uzbekistan in DC by many different ambassadors. Laurel herself performed for President Karimov when he came to the dedication of the Uzbek Embassy in DC. ( She had also performed in the first two Independence Day celebrations in Tashkent and was the English style editor of Karimov’s first book.)

Last year, in 2010, Ambassador Ilkhom Nematov and his wife attended Silk Road Dance Company’s 15th anniversary concert. Most recently, Silk Road Dance Company the featured dancers at the 20th anniversary celebration of Uzbek independence in DC.

A glimpse of this performance can be seen on the VOA Uzbek Service broadcast. Excerpts begin about 2:00 minutes into the program.
http://www.voanews.com/uzbek/news/central-asia/Uzbek-Embassy-Independence-Day-129160838.html

Silk Road Dance Company is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt arts organization. We are dedicated artists who deeply love and appreciate Uzbek traditional culture. We endeavor to honor this legacy in all of our performances.

Silk Road Dance Company is a 501(c)3 exempt tax non-profit organization.
Silk Road Dance Company ® is a Registered Trademark
The contents of this blogpost, including all text and images, are protected and may
not be used without the express written permission of Silk Road Dance Company®.
Copyright 2011 and 2013, Silk Road Dance Company®. All rights reserved.

For 16 years, Silk Road Dance Company has depended on our performance income to cover our operating expenses. Now we need your support to continue our work of promoting “Cultural Understanding through Beauty and Delight.” We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so your generous contribution toward our $10,000 goal is tax deductable.

How to contribute? It’s easy!
Just go to our official website site and click on the donate button onour Hompage or at the foot ove every page – http://www.silkroaddance.com

SILK ROAD DANCE COMPANY: Our Artistic Mission
Silk Road Dance Company (SRDC), initiated in 1995 by Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray, is dedicated to the preservation, promulgation, and evolution of women’s endangered dance forms, traditions, and costumes from cultures along the Great Silk Road trade route linking China with the Mediterranean.

Through concerts, lecture-demonstrations, and master classes, Silk Road Dance Company promotes knowledge and appreciation of traditional dance forms of Eastern cultures by educating, entertaining, and engaging the general public. SRDC
builds bridges of understanding between East and West by nourishing traditional dance forms, encouraging cross-cultural dialogue, and collaborating with other World Dance artists.

Warm smiles, lively dances, and colorful costumes brightened the grey skies at the 2011 Turkish fesitval in DC. Guest Artists included an energetic group of young dancers from Ankara, Turkey, who presented traditional folk dances.

Excerpts from Silk Road Dance Company’s Kazakh and Azerbaijani dances appear on this clip at about 1:10 into the video. Enjoy!

Kurdish Dance Featured in Silk Road Dance Festival


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2011
CONTACT: Malori Rhones 301-699-1819

SILK ROAD DANCE FESTIVAL
Saturday, November 19, 2011. Dance Workshops from 10 am; Dance Concert at 8 pm
Joe’s Movement Emporium
3309 Bunker Hill Road
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
CONCERT TICKETS: $20 in advance; $25 at door
https://joesmovement.secure.force.com/ticket#details_a0OF0000004F06dMAC
ADULT DANCE WORKSHOPS: $40 in advance: $45 at door
CHILDREN’S DANCE WORKSHOP: $15 in advance; $20 at door.
https://joesmovement.secure.force.com/ticket#sections_a03F0000007wyFFIAY
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=191021307638219

SILK ROAD DANCE FESTIVAL CELEBRATES
DIVERSITY OF ASIAN CULTURES

Washington, DC – Exuberant dances, lavish costumes, and ancient traditions will entertain audiences at the Silk Road Dance Festival on November 19, at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier. Inspired by the Silk Road theme of the 2002 Smithsonian Folk Festival, the event focuses on the rich diversity of dance found along the celebrated trade route that connected China with the Mediterranean. Daytime activities include dance workshops for adults and children, a Central Asian style “chaikhona” (teahouse), a lecture on Uzbek traditions and a Silk Road bazaar. The festival culminates in an evening concert at 8 pm featuring guest artists from India, Central Asia, and China along with the award-winning Silk Road Dance Company.

Dance workshops in Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Persian, and Kathak styles will be offered at Joe’s Movement Emporium from November 18th to 20th, as part of the 14th Central Asian Dance Camp. Audiences can enjoy these and other pieces in the Saturday night concert that will highlight the Silk Road Dance Festival. Rare and compelling choreographies of Afghan, Azerbaijani, Chinese, Indian, Kazakh, Persian, Tajik, Turkmen, Uighur and Uzbek origin will provide a glimpse into cultures unfamiliar to most Americans.

Featured artists include Jayantee Paine Ganguly, director of Konark Dance School and Jayantika Dance Company, who will perform classical Indian Kathak dance. The Xuejuan Performance Ensemble, a Chinese dance company directed by Xuejuan Feng – a graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy – will present group and solo pieces. Traditional and classical dances of the Uzbek, Tajik, and Uighur people will be performed by Central Asian guest artists and the award-winning Silk Road Dance Company.

Event organizer Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray feels the Silk Road Dance Festival will foster a deeper understanding of the diverse cultures of Asian peoples. “The Uzbeks have a great folk saying that it is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times. Experiencing these dances in a cohesive concert — all performed in colorful, authentic costumes — will help audiences appreciate the vast range of styles and ethnicities of Silk Road cultures.”

Co-presenters of the Silk Road Dance Festival include the Asia Heritage Foundation, the Uzbek Dance and Culture Society, and World Arts Focus.

Silk Road Dance Company is a 501(c)3 exempt tax non-profit organization.
Silk Road Dance Company ® is a Registered Trademark
The contents of this blogpost, including all text and images, are protected and may
not be used without the express written permission of Silk Road Dance Company®.
Copyright 2011 and 2013, Silk Road Dance Company®. All rights reserved.

Azerbaijani Tea Glass Dance performed by Silk Road Dance Company. Photo by Elli Alikhani.


.
One of our favorite annual events is Washington DC’s Turkish Festival. Silk Road Dance Company has performed in it since the beginning and over the years we have presented Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Turkmen, and Uighur dances.

This year we presented Azerbaijani and Kazakh dances, and our magical “raks” of the fairyilke creatures known as “Pari.” We were delighted with scores of outstanding photographs taken by audience members and will share a few on our blog.

Silk Road Dance Company is a 501(c)3 exempt tax non-profit organization.
Silk Road Dance Company ® is a Registered Trademark
The contents of this blogpost, including all text and images, are protected and may
not be used without the express written permission of Silk Road Dance Company®.
Copyright 2011 and 2013, Silk Road Dance Company®. All rights reserved.

Inspired by the 2002 Smithsonian Silk Road Festival, this event celebrates the color and excitment of traditional dances of Silk Road cultures.

Workshops begin at 9 am and include Uzbek and Kathak dance. A bazaar and an Uzbek teahouse – “Chaikhona” – will recreate the colors and flavors of the East.

A gala evening concert beginning at 8 pm will feature the award-winning Silk Road Dance company and special international guest artists from China, India, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

TICKETS $20 in advance/ $25 at door
available online at: https://joesmovement.secure.force.com/ticket#details_a0OF0000004F06dMAC