Uzbek Performance in Boro Park

It was purely by chance that I met Husniya xon at the pharmacy near my home in Midwood, Brooklyn. Turns out that she is an accomplished actress and directed a cultural center back in Tashkent. Although the Uzbek I speak and the Uzbek she speaks is different in tempo and cultural influence. Luckily, I understood enough to purchase tickets for this lovely show.

Apparently, there is a fledgling Little Tashkent right in the center of Brooklyn: Boro Park. And tonight, I just came back from a lively theater performance that included dance, pop music, traditional poetry recitation, and comedy skits. Dad, bro and I went together to our first ever Uzbek function. My translation skills are not the best since I understood about 50% of what was being said. Ironically, one of the skits I did understand (at least the first half) was a comedy skit poking fun at American Uzbeks going to Uzbekistan to find their son’s Uzbek brides. They mix some English. And so I understood but the humor was too culturally specific to make sense to all three of us. The performance was beautiful, particularly the dance and the song. I was surprised at how culturally similar to Afghan music it was. There were actually songs in Farsi and a small moment of Ahmad Zahir (Elvis of Afghanistan). The surprising part of all this performance was how the audience interacted with the performers. There was a moment when the actor and actress came through the aisle to serve us some sweets. I thought that was particularly nice to see the actors up close. The part I did not understand as an event planner was the dancing in the aisles during a dance performance, the conversations in the audience that almost ate up the comedy skits, and the cell phone convos that were happening mid show. The children playing in the aisles reminded me of weddings and children turning the place upside down. It was a beautiful show. Here are some of the photos:

Stage at PS 192
Don’t let him fool you, this cute boy would rule the aisles a few hours later.
The cast being introduced. A few were famous actors in Uzbek Cinema.
First song was one dedicated to a bride.

The skits revolved around marriage bonds and not from the bride and groom’s perspective but from the parents. So it was interesting to see marriage was more of a parental agreement and not about individuals. The mother says in one skit she wants to live out her wishes through her daughter’s wedding.

There is the wonderful actor from Uzbekistan in the aisle handing out the sweets.
Uzbek Dancing in Little Tashkent, Brooklyn
She was pure magic. The singer is Aziz Rametov who was equally amazing.
Now she has taken off her top robe and doing another dance in this beautiful Uzbek dress.
They were rocking out!
Comedy skit with Mirza Azizov and Saida Rametov
Comedy skit. Hilarious. Even Bro was laughing.
This cute boy was so bored he is the pioneer aisle revolutionary. Once he goes out playing innocently with his umbrella, the others start slowly coming out of their chairs.
This was my favorite dress. Dad said this fabric in antiquity was reserved for women in the royal family.
Too bad I was too shy to video tape in the front row.
After an hour of performance, the parents were out dancing in the aisles.
Pretty in Pink.
More of her dancing. Audience was out of their chairs by this time and dancing in the aisles.
Look at this gorgeous dancer in her yellow dress.
Mirza Azizov was a true virtuoso. His songs were wonderful.
Now this cutie pie in yellow was my next favorite in the show.
A comedy skit with husband and wife team: Sidiq and Husniya Sanayeva
After a while everyone was in the aisles and my little friend decided to get some reading done.
Here was a skit about American Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and honestly, it completely went over all three of our heads. Lost in translation? Or too similar to us? :)

And excuse me for all the instagrams, it’s the only way to crop and edit on the iPhone! It was a great show. And I wish I took more video. The music and dance was enchanting.

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2 Comments

  1. Ute Margaret Saine

    Dear Zohra,
    Thank you so much for sharing this, I loved the costumes and the great presence of the actors. Interesting details about the Usbek language. I also enjoyed very much your poems in “Seven Leaves, One Autumn” and am proud to be there with you in this poetry anthology. Hugs!

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