Silk Road Dances : Mandira Improta

Silk Road Dances

The Silk Road is the world’s oldest, and most historically important trade route.

The name evokes images of caravans wading through desert sand trading rubies and jade, smell of exotic spices such amber musk and sandalwood, and exquisite goods like dates, saffron powder and pistachio nuts.

This network of trade routes linked China with the Mediterranean, spreading south to India, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and further west to Samarkand, Persia and the eastern Mediterranean.

But goods were not the only treasures to travel the ancient trade route: many ideas and religious influences were merged, art in general: architecture, painting were widely exchanged between East and West,  and most likely music and dances.

Persian Classical dance

Persian Classical dance is inspired by Persian poetry and miniature artwork. Movements often reflect the swirling Arabesques, fluid and highly detailed movements seen in Persian Miniature artwork. Characteristic movements include intricate hand and arm movements, sweeping gestures, shoulder isolations, footwork patterns and spins.

Common themes in the dance, inspired by the great Persian poets like Hafez, Omar Khayyam, and Rumi are the moth to flame, intoxication with love for the beloved, or a bird spreading its wings to fly to freedom.

 

Afghan dance

Although dance is rarely presented in a stage context in Afghanistan, music and dance are a vital part of the traditional Afghan way of life. Every happy family occasion is an opportunity for music and dance.

The most known Afghani dances are the Loghari, mostly a party style dancing, and Attan, the national folk dance of Afghanistan, danced at almost all celebrations and rites of passage.