Haas Scholars

Natalie Rutiezer

Expression, Performance, and Ritual: An Artistic Exploration of Dance in Tajikistan

The sweeping gestures of the body, the symbolism, the hand movements and fast ecstatic spins of Tajik dance express a history and present reality that cannot be described in words only felt. In Tajikistan, dance is an integral part of ritual, tradition, and expression of quotidian life. Natalie will travel to Tajikistan to immerse herself in the study and practice of the different regional styles of dance to encourage awareness of and conversation about the richness and complexity of Tajik culture. Natalie will teach Tajik dance techniques and choreography to the UC Berkeley student-run dance company, Sorayya. She will also teach a DeCal class and public workshop through the Theater, Dance and Performance Studies Department. Natalies creative project will culminate in a public, participatory performance in the Spring of 2016.

See Natalie’s performance of Tajik dance — and her instruction of audience members at the 2016 Haas Scholars conference — here.

  • Major: Near Eastern Studies | Dance
  • Mentor: SanSan Kwan, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies