Silk Road Dance Company, cultural understanding through Beauty and Delight
"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, 2011, 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, 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, and Tajik people will be performed by 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. Special assistance from the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan will give provide a taste of traditional Uzbek cuisine.
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