Silk Road Treasure Tours Honors “Dance Along The Silk Road”
We are proudly announce the very first dance tour of Uzbekistan – Dance Along the Silk Road. Led by Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray, an internationally recognized dance scholar, award-winning choreographer, performer and costume designer, this unique travel opportunity focuses on the history, art, and dance traditions of Central Asian. Guests will study dance with native artists "in context" while traveling along the ancient Silk Road to the legendary cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Even non-dancers can enjoy the beauty of special performances and meetings with leading Uzbek artists. Dr. Gray, honored by the Uzbek Ministry of Culture for "her great contributions to the development of Uzbek culture and art," will share her extensive, insider knowledge of Uzbekistan, its people and culture.
This ground-breaking 10-day tour begins in Tashkent, the capital and economic center of Uzbekistan. In Tashkent, guests will explore ancient medrassahs and mosques in the Old City and the thriving Chorsu Bazaar. Introductory dance sessions and visits to key museum collections will help travelers discover Tashkent's cultural treasures.
The journey continues along the Silk Road to the fabled cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva – all recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites cities. In addition to dance classes and performances, guests will wander through the ancient streets, discovering historic mosques, mausoleums and medrassahs, as well as pilgrimage sites and lively bazaars. Visits to handicraft centers, like Bukhara's gold-embroidery factory, provide an opportunity to meet artisans who practice centuries-old folk art traditions.
In addition to accommodations at boutique hotels, guests can get a taste of nomadic life on the ancient Silk Road with a stay in a yurt camp near an ancient fortress that is over 2,000 years old.
The Dance Along the Silk Road tour culminates in Tashkent with city-wide celebrations of Uzbekistan's Independence Day and a farewell dinner.
Those who wish to extend their journey may add on the 2-day visit to the historic Ferghana Valley, center of Uzbekistan's world-renowned silk industry.
Famous for their hospitality, the Uzbek people will offer a warm welcome, creating an unforgettable experience to be cherished long after returning home. Silk Road Treasure Tours introduces guests to the people, cultures and traditions of Uzbekistan, aided by an experienced tour leader and reliable local guides. The first-ever Dance Along the Silk Road tour provides the unique experience of learning Central Asian dance steps while following in the footsteps of Marco Polo. Whether you are a dancer, a dance fan, a textile aficionado, history-lover, or photography enthusiast, this is the tour you have been waiting for!
Read More About Laurel Victoria Gray
Internationally recognized dance scholar, choreographer, costume designer and performer, Laurel Victoria Gray has devoted her life to mastering dancers from Silk Road cultures and beyond. She combines her degrees in history with decades of field research and teaches World Dance at George Washington University. Her scholarly articles have appeared in publications including the Oxford University Press International Encyclopedia of Dance, the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theater, the Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, the Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Culture, Dance Magazine, Azerbaijan International and as well as foreign dance publications.
Known as "the pioneer of Uzbek dance in America," Gray founded the award-winning Silk Road Dance Company in 1995 with the goal of fostering "Cultural Understanding through Beauty and Delight." The Fulbright Association selected her to deliver the 2009 Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Scholar Lecture. In 2007, she was named and Honorary Professor at the Uzbekistan State Institute of Art and Culture by Uzbekistan's Ministry of Culture in "recognition of her great contribution to the development of Uzbek culture and arts all over the world." She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2013 Dance Metro DC Choreography Award, the 2006 Dance Metro DC Award for Excellence in Costume Design; the 2005 Distinguished Service Award from the Embassy of Uzbekistan; the 2003 Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project Award; and the International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance (IAMED) Awards for Best Choreographer (2003) and Best Ethnic Dancer (1999). In 1984, Dr. Gray founded the Uzbek Dance and Culture Society and in 1994 established the Central Asian Dance Camp. She has lived in and traveled extensively throughout Uzbekistan and has led important cultural delegations. More information at www.laurelvictoriagray.com and www.facebook.com/silkroaddance.