The traditions of Uzbek dance art take own history from antiquity, as part of ceremonial and ritual activities that were devoted to holidays, harvesting and religious occasions. Already in the Middle Ages, dance was an integral part of Eastern culture.
Uzbek dance is very expressive, it is dominated by hand movements and bright facial expressions. Sometimes it is even compared with pantomime. The whole philosophy of dance is to express feelings: joy, sadness and, of course, love. Before the start of the dance, the Uzbek dancers traditionally press their palm to the heart, and then stretch their hands towards the sky, as if to say that everything “comes from the heart”.
Classic uzbek dance include 3 schools: Khorezm, Fergana and Bukhara.
Khorezm school is distinguished by originality of movements and expression. The basis of the movements of many dances is the imitation of the fauna – it is the dance of pigeons, gopher, goat, cats, cock and lamb battles, the dance of pheasants, goose, quail and gulls. Dancers manage to imitate even the sounds of animals.
Many dance elements of this region are connected with circus art, where masters of “aerobatics” dance with fire, knives, or on a rope.
The most expressive and well-known Khorezmian dances are considered to be Lazgi, Dance on a Plate and Dance of Broken Fingers. The latter is associated with the ancient legend of the king’s concubine, who once fell heavily and broke her fingers. In order not to upset her beloved she danced without straightening the fingers. The king was very pleased, taking the strange movements of the girl, for the new dance. Now it is one of the most popular Khorezm dance styles.
Also in the Khorezm school there are satirical dances telling about professions (dance of a fisherman, baker, hairdresser, cook, shepherds). In such dances not a profession is mocked, but a specific person.
Dance costumes are also unusual. An integral part of the men’s Khorezm dance costume is a coarse fur hat, a hat, and the female headdress opposite is very elegant. The costumes of the dancers are decorated with numerous coins.
The Fergana school is characterized by softness, smoothness and expressiveness of movements, an easy sliding step, original movements in place and turned up hands, “speaking movements” and pantomime elements.
Also in the dances of the Fergana region improvisation is often allowed, because in this school a great emphasis is placed on emotions and feelings. Many dance compositions are real miniature performances, scenes illustrating various events in the life of a young girl – for example, bitter separation from her beloved, or various everyday situations: picking cotton, creating silk fabric, baking cakes.
One of the most popular dances of the Fergana Valley is “Tanovar”. The word “tanovar” consists of two parts – “tan” – body or soul, “ovar” – pleasure, that is, “the pleasure of the soul.” Each movement of this dance is an expression of the female soul telling about its love.
The Bukhara school combines dance traditions from Bukhara and Samarkand. Comic and circus elements are also included. In these dances, the movements are sharper, sometimes even more similar to gymnastic ones, very often there is a shaking of shoulders with bends forward and back and falling to the knees.
The flexibility of the dancers is simply admiring, and the play of the face adds passion to any dance. The most famous dances of the Bukhara school are considered “Zamin Bozi”, “Larzon” and “Sarizon Bozi”, where complex movements and very bright facial expressions are performed.
Unlike classical, Bukhara folk dances are characterized by smooth movements and the use of Asian stone castanets – “kayrok”, which maintain the rhythm of the dance. It looks like kairok 2 flat pebbles. This instrument is an integral part of the Bukhara folk dance.
Folk dances of each region are distinguished by their style of performance, costume and musical accompaniment. Each folk dance is a performance in which the dancer talks about the culture, history and life of his region.
The most prominent are the folk dances of the Kashkadarya region. Such dances are accompanied by old songs and a bright actor play of dancers. That dance filled with passion, flirt and tension.
In such dances often used old household items – wooden spoons, plates and jugs.
The cut of their costumes is simple, but the colors of the fabric and large ornaments attract the eye.
And their dances are so infectious that it is impossible to resist and not to start dancing!