Laura Prokopenko

Marvarid Uzbek Dance
Wedding Traditions
Artistic Discipline: Folk Arts
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2020
Location: Sheepshead Bay

Marvarid Uzbek Dance was created in 2018 to share traditional Uzbek dance throughout New York City and New Jersey, particularly at weddings and birthday parties. They rehearse at the iDance studio, above the Masters Theater on Brighton Beach Avenue. At that moment, only iDance Studio has professional dancers originally from Tashkent (Uzbekistan) that preserve these traditional dance traditions from Uzbekistan. Marvarid seeks to educate Brooklyn Uzbeks, Central Asians, and broader Brooklyn about their traditions.

This program will feature special guests from the Egyptian (Yasser Darwish) and Palestinian wedding dance traditions (Freedom Dabkah). In addition to performing, all groups will do a workshop for guests and dancers to learn about each others’ dances and learn basic movements. The unique part of the program will be the similarities and differences found between these traditions. Mavarid Uzbek Dance will focus on aspects of the tradition, including clothing worn for wedding celebration dances and the facial and manual movements. All traditional dance techniques are filled with different secrets that are passed down from generation to generation. The movements in Uzbek dances have meaning. For example, it is often said in Uzbek dance culture that “even the face has to dance.” Even the movement between the eyes and eyebrows have meaning.