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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:


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:

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.


Today is #GivingTuesday!

Today is Giving Tuesday, a national day to show support for non-profits and their good works.

Silk Road Dance Company is a non-profit tax-exempt arts organization devoted to “Cultural Understanding through Beauty and Delight.” You can support our work with a donation, by following us on Facebook and Twitter, and by volunteering.

To show our appreciation for your support, we have a special gift of a beautiful concert DVD that is not commercially available, for a donation of $50.

Learn how you can support our “Caravan of Joy” SRDC at

Rose of Isfahan

Roses, Roses, Roses!

Silk Road Dance Company’s repertoire of over 130 dances included several choreographies inspired by roses, all created by our Artistic Director since our founding in 1995. Two pieces — The Rose of Isfahan (2002) and Spring Rain in the Rose Garden (1995) — draw on Persian Classical dance vocabulary.

Two other dances — Desert Rose and Al Ward al Foll (The Perfume of the Rose) — use Arabic music. Desert Rose has contemporary elements, including silk veils. More traditional, Al Ward al Foll, employs folkloric Egyptian Saiidi music and dance elements.

Why roses? Perhaps they are so cherished in the East. For example, the celebrated Rose of Isfahan has an intense perfume and delicate flower, making it a long-time favorite with gardeners.

We enjoy sharing these enchanting dances with our audiences, reminding them of the exquisite beauty of Nature.

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:

Online ticket for Silk Road Dance Company SAAM concerts:

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.

Come and celebrate at the first Persian Wine Dinner to help with the coming of Norooz at Columbus Grill on Friday March 16th, 2012 at 8pm. Columbus Grill is located at 8349 Centreville Road Manassas, VA 20111. Tickets are $78.00 per person.

Authentic Wines made from the Shiraz grapes originating in Persia. Authentic Persian Foods and pastries and authentic persian entertainment. This is going to be a night to remember.

Read on folks and find out why this is going to be a one in a million chance to learn about another exciting culture. To drink wines from Shiraz grapes, eat authentic Persian foods and watch awesome persian entertainment and dance to persian music. Come and join us, you will not be disappointed.

Norooz, commemorating the New Year, has been celebrated in Iran, formerly Persia, throughout nearly three millennia of its recorded history. Norooz begins at the vernal equinox, the first day of spring season, a day of rejuvenation and reconciliation, and, reinvigorations and rebirth. Norooz’s arrival is symbolized in nature by the sprouting of greens and grains, flowers and trees.

The Norooz holidays of today span from Charshanbeh Suri (jumping over the bonfire to absorb its reddish healthy strength, while getting rid of one’s yellow unhealthy state of being), on the evening preceding the last Wednesday of the old year, climaxing at Norooz, and concluding with Sizdah Bedar, the thirteenth day of the New Year. Iranians spend the last day of the holidays at a picnic in the orchards, on the prairies, by the seaside, or in the foothills where they eat and drink, dance and sing, and play and joke. On that day, the single women knot grass together in the hope of marriage before the next Norooz! Integral to Norooz are the visits exchanged and paying tribute to the elders, as well as receiving monetary and other gifts from them.

Appetizer: Salad Olivia – A traditional Iranian dish made for special occasions. It is similar to American potato salad, but with chicken and lots of lemon. Very refreshing. Served with Lavash bread, sabzi (greens) and feta cheese.

Wine: Jaboulet Rose
Description: “Very bright, deep salmon color. Intense and rich aromas of very ripe red fruits — strawberry, black currant, and raspberry. Well rounded, full and generous, its long finish is emphasized by fresh aromas of very ripe red fruits with a hint of spice”.
Taste: subtle notes of strawberry which is joined by clean tart berry flavors
Country: France
First Course: KooKoo Sabzi – Persian Frittata with various fresh green herbs
Wine: Wishing Tree Shiraz
Description: “Bright ruby. Fresh blackberry and spices on the nose, with a hint of white pepper and a suave mocha quality. Silky, gently sweet red and dark berry flavors are lifted by tangy acidity and are given a bitter edge by a late note of licorice. Refreshing, fat-free shiraz with good closing cut.”
Taste: currant, blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry
Country: Australia
Second course: Sabzi Polo ba Mahi – basmati rice tinted vivid green with herbs and served with fried fish.
Wine: Layer Cake Shiraz
Description: “Dark, dense and creamy, complex aromas of black plum, Bing cherry, blackberry and pepper merge with licorice, tobacco, mocha and dark chocolate. This is one inky Shiraz; an explosion of dark, super ripe, wild blackberry, with a touch of cigar box finishing with a mélange of exotic spices. A pure fruit bomb…complete from attack through a long, lingering finish.
Taste: currant, blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry
Country: Australia
Dessert: Various Persian Pastries
Wine: The Jumping Grape “Sparkling” Shiraz
Description: A blend of 80% shiraz and 20% cabernet. Deep red. Raspberry, cherry and cracked pepper on the nose, with a subtle floral quality adding complexity. Pliant, juicy red berry flavors are a touch sweet and given a bitter edge by a note of dark chocolate. The sweetness repeats on the finish, which is nicely persistent and raspberry-dominated.
Taste: Red Berries
Country: Australia

1st Entertainment Set

1. GHASSEMABADI – From the southern Caspian region, this Iranian folk dance celebrates the bounty of Nature. The movements depict the work of the women in the fields
Choreography and Costume: Laurel Victoria Gray
2. SPRING RAIN IN THE ROSE GARDEN – Elegant ladies venture out into the garden to see the first roses of spring, only to be caught in a sudden downpour. Happily, the sun returns and they remain in the garden, enjoying the beauty of nature.
3. CHESH CHESH – Dancers in this choreography wear the shaliteh skirt that became popular at the Persian court of Nasseredin Shah in the late 19th century. According to some legends, these skirts were inspired by the skirts of the European ballet dancers the Shah saw in his 1873 visit to Paris.
The dancers perform flirtatious gestures to the song ”Chesh Chesh,” that speak of the eyes, the eyebrows and the lips of a beautiful girl.
Choreography and Costume Design: Laurel Victoria Gray
4. MUHABBAT – The song lyrics to this Afghani dance express a sense of longing. While the girl must remain home behind closed doors, her beloved is free to roam the world.
Choreography: People’s Artist of Uzbekistan Isaqar Aquilov
5. NALBEKI – Offering tea to guests is a traditional gesture of hospitality in the East. In this challenging dance reflects the skill of the performers who balances delicate tea glasses during their performance.

2nd Entertainment Set

1. LARZON – In Kurdish, ”larzan” means ”to shake or tremble.” This festive line dance is based on traditional Kurdish folk dance steps. The fiery energy of this piece melts the snows of Winter.
Choreography: Keylan Qazzaz
2. BOI BOI – This energetic, playful piece features a 6 rhythm accented by dancers wearing bells on their wrists.  Choreography: Kizalrkhon Dusmukhamedov. 
3. TULIPS OF TAJIKISTAN – The promise of rebirth and renewal awaits in the spring. In Tajikistan, wild tulips cover the hillsides in spring and the word ”lola,” meaning tulip, is a popular girl’s name. This dance was inspired by Tajik dancers who worked with Silk Road Dance Company in Samarkand in 2005. We offer it as a joyous gift of hope.
Choreography: Laurel Victoria Gray
4. AZZIZAM – Drawing from the elegant lines and garments of Persian Saffavid miniature paintings, this classical Persian dance choreography is set to a song by the popular Iranian singer, Haydeh. Choreography and costumes: Laurel Victoria Gray
5. RAQS-E-PARI – In Persian folktales, the ”pari” was a beautiful, fairy-like creature who sometimes visited the realm of mortals. In this dance, paris are lured to earth with joyous music, enchanting everyone with their loveliness.
Choreography: Laurel Victoria Gray


This event is going to be off the hook! If you have enjoyed the wine dinners in the past you don’t want to miss this one!!
After a wonderful sit down dinner and entertainment you can dance your heart away with persian music!!
These dinners are always a sell out so get your tickets early!!
Tickets must be prepaid to reserve your seat. To buy your tickets, which are $78.00 per person, please email or call 703-861-7834. You will be sent an invoice to pay for your tickets.

Uzbek Embassy to Host Dance Concert

Please join us on Friday, February 24, 2012, at the beautiful Uzbek Embassy for this exclusive event honoring 20 years of Uzbek – American diplomatic relations.

Silk Road Dance Company will present a concert of Uzbek, Tajik, Uighur, and Azeri dances – all in lavish, colorful costumes. After the concert, enjoy a buffet of traditional Uzbek cuisine. There will also be an open bar. Tickets are $50 per person and are very limited. Proceeds will benefit Silk Road Dance Company, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt arts organization.

All ticket reservations must be completed by February 17, 2012. There will be no ticket sales at the door.

Tickets can be reserved through the PayPal button on the homepage of the Silk Road Dance Company website at or

or by check, mailed to:

Silk Road Dance Company
P. O. Box 11346
Takoma Park, MD 20913

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

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: )

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.

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.

The Goddess Nuit and the Dance of the Cosmos

On October 22nd, Silk Road Dance Company performed at an elegant Black Tie Gala held at the Embassy of Egypt and organized by Things to Do DC. The Arabic music ensemble Insijam set the mood with selections of beloved Egyptian songs, including Alf Layla wa Layla and Laylet Hob.

Silk Road Dance Company’s first set included choreographies from EGYPTA: MYTH, MAGIC and MYSTERY, a dance concert with an Ancient Egyptian theme. The opening piece was “Egypt is the Gift of the Nile” and it took place in the Nile with lovely maidens swimming and playing while the hungry crocodile God Sobek stalked them.

Next, temple priestesses led a procession with sistrum to welcome the Goddess Isis, the Lady of Magic. Wearing a stunning costume with wings created from over 200 separate pieces of fabirc, Isis enchanted the audience. The God Horus then carried the solar disc across the heavens and passed it on to the Goddess Nuit who, according to Egyptian mythology, swallowed it only to give birth to the sun anew each morning. In the night sky, Nuit danced with the the stars of the evening.

The second set featured Egyptian folkloric dances from the Saiid. Wearing traditional dresses and jewelry purchased in Egypt, Silk Road Dance Company presented the playful and buoyant dances of Upper Egypt. The performance ended with a dramatic and stirring solo man’s dance called “tahtib” by guest artist Ahmad Maaty.

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 –

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!