What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Repost: The Festival of a Thousand Letters


Shemakhinskaya Bayaderka Festival

8/27/19: Today, I’m bringing you a dance festival whose style defies description. This is the annual Russian event known as the Shemakhinskaya Bayaderka Festival. When trying to describe the style of the dance, the best I could come up with is tribal meets bellydancing meets hip hop meets flamenco meets modern with elements of classical ballet and a little of the dancing Orion Slave Girls thrown in for fun. The festival incorporates as many dance styles as there are letters in its name! Whatever you call it, it’s undoubtedly gorgeous.

The (endless) name of the Festival translates as Dancer from Shemakha. Part of the ancient city of the Shirvan Khanate, Shemakha was originally part of the Russian Empire and is now part of Azerbaijan. No matter who is in charge, the region has always been known for its dancers.

One of the things I love about the festival (besides its defiance of definition) is the fact that the participants appear to be able to interpret the style however they like, to make it entirely their own. Mind-blowing stuff.

You can follow the Shemakhinskaya Bayaderka Festival on YouTube and Instagram. (If you only watch one of the videos, make it the first one. Absolutely hypnotic. I suspect that it’s pretty close to what those Egyptians on the tombs actually looked like in motion.)

I’m not able to embed the videos, so you’ll need to click the links to see the performances. I promise they’re worth the effort:

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

7 thoughts on “Repost: The Festival of a Thousand Letters

  1. Do they even have bones in their body?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dance in its barest form is moving the body to music. There are hundred different forms this takes. Sitting at a table and moving just the hands on the table to music is dance. With that background, I agree with Donna, this is an ethic combination of various types of dance and makes it their own. I loved every minute of what I watched today. I wish I had the answer to bcparkison question but I don’t. 🙂 My best guess is ‘a couple’. Hal

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love your dance posts, and this one is no exception. Mesmerising!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Superbugs last all summer long. | Memo Of The Air

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