Traditional dance around the world

Traditional dance around the world

One of the joys of travel is to experience the best of cultures the world over. Music and dancing is a huge part of my life at home, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience it in many styles across the globe, sometimes as a display for tourists, sometimes in its most authentic form. Here are my 12 favourite traditional dance experiences - what are yours? 1. Kathakali dancers, Kerala, India India’s Kathakali dancers hail from the southern state of Kerala, and I was lucky enough to see Read more [...]
Central Asia: rebuilding a heritage

Central Asia: rebuilding a heritage

I spent a couple of weeks this summer in Central Asia, visiting the Silk Road nations of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.These countries have had a chequered history. From a rich heritage as trading posts, and at the heart of Timur's vast empire, all three nations have natural beauty but also magnificent historic cities, fortresses, mosques and madrassahs which play a substantial part in their heritage. All three countries have withstood countless invasions and destruction of the places Read more [...]
Turkistan and Otrar: Kazakhstan’s Deep South

Turkistan and Otrar: Kazakhstan’s Deep South

We arrived in Turkistan on a Thursday. It was our first day in Kazakhstan; after an overnight train journey from Bukhara to Tashkent, we took a private bus to the border. Kazakhstan was a shock to the system right away; very different from Uzbekistan, less Islamic and less developed, the wide open spaces and long distances were immediately striking.The drive north took us along roads that were tarmacked but in poor condition. Sitting directly behind our bus driver, I was hypnotised by his Read more [...]