Dance and Culture Tour to 
with Helene Eriksen 
March 19-31, 2019
Come join me on this  unconventional tour of a lifetime to the heart of the Silk Road, Uzbekistan, to luxuriate in the dances, costumes and music of the Central Asia!

You’ll see all the classic sites, such as Samarkand’s UNESCO-listed Registan Square, but you’ll also stop at performance halls, hidden workshops, madrassahs and pocket museums to soak up the vivid visual and performing arts that made their way along the Silk Road long ago.

Learn about the flowing silk finery that outlines the movements of traditional dancers, and about the musical instruments made from desert materials.

This specialized journey is handcrafted for people who are ready to learn the dances of the Silk Road and who love Central Asian arts and handicrafts.

Benefit from the knowledge that your host, Helene Eriksen, has accumulated throughout 36 years of researching, dancing and teaching the dances of Uzbekistan, Central Aisa and the Muslim World.

Special Features & Highlights

Day 1: Tashkent

In Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, explore the house-museum of one of the country’s most notable folk dancers, and browse the Applied Arts Museum, featuring the painted carved plaster called ganche, carved wood, and tile work. Exhibits include the Uzbek embroidered wall coverings called suzani, ceramics, jewelry, rugs, and musical instruments. 

Day 2-7: Bukhara 

Take the fast Afrosiab train to the Silk Road oasis of Bukhara. Wander the labyrinth of cobbled streets in the heart of the Old Town, seeing the classic sights. Attend master classes with Ms. Lilia Muradova, who will teach on different styles of Central Asian dance, culminating in an evening performance at the Gaukushon Caravanserai, accompanied by Bukharan Shahmaqam musicians.

Days 8-9: Samarkand

Take a half-day train ride to UNESCO-listed Samarkand. Here in Tamerlane’s blue-tiled capital, hear a private museum curator play typical Central Asia instruments, such as the doira, a large tambourine that is beaten like a drum; learn to cook the country’s signature dish, plov, in a family home; and enjoy a fashion show introducing the national costumes of Uzbekistan.

Days 10-11: Darband Village via Shahrisabz

Set out for Darband Village, stopping first in UNESCO-listed Shahrisabz, Tamerlane’s hometown, to see the remains of Ak Saray, or White Palace. Continue to Darband, passing through the Iron Gates. Pay a visit to the home of local Darband resident Shavkat Turdikulov, the great-grandson of a Silk Road caravan merchant. Admire the steep red cliffs of the "Grand Canyon" of Darband, and visit Boysun, one of the oldest inhabited places in Central Asia.

Days 12-13: Tashkent via Termez, Sairob 

Drive to Termez, pausing in the little village of Sairob to see its thousand-year-old plane trees. Termez, near the Uzbek-Afghan border, celebrated its 2,500th anniversary in 2001. Explore the Buddhist monastery complexes of 2nd century Kara Tepe and 1st century Fayez Tepe. Visit the 11th and 12th century Sultan-Saodat complex, honoring the graves of the Termez sayids, or holy men. Fly to Tashkent for a farewell dinner.
Please write for a complete itinerary!

Land Tour Package Price:
$2,860 per person double occupancy $350 single supplement

Land Tour Package Inclusions
• All accommodation based on double occupancy per itinerary with breakfast daily, local service charge and tax (standard hotel check-in/out times apply unless otherwise noted) Tashkent (1 night); Bukhara (6 nights); Samarkand (2 nights); Darband Village (2 nights); Tashkent (1 night)
• Private vehicle for group arrival and departure transfers for those arriving and departing on the tour start and end dates
• Transportation per itinerary overland by private vehicle & driver, specifically all arrival and departure transfers, and full day services on most days. *4 days without transport March 22, 23, 24, & 25.
• Transportation One-way by high-speed train Tashkent to Bukhara on Day 2 economy class sitting train, including all taxes and fees; fast train from Bukhara to Samarkand on Day 8 economy class sitting train; and if available, fly from Termez to Tashkent on Day 12, if no flight, then drive to Tashkent
• All sightseeing and excursions including entrance fees per itinerary
• 5 days of Central Asian dance classes culminating in one or two performance/s in Bukhara • Special cultural features as stated in itinerary, including dance classes, demonstrations, and other cultural features and interactions
• Services of a local MIR tour manager throughout the land tour program
• Special Welcome and Farewell Dinners
• Meals as listed in itinerary, breakfast daily,
• Bottled/purified water with meals
• Destination preparation information packet 

Price Does Not Include
• International airfare to Uzbekistan; air taxes or fuel surcharges; pre- or post-tour services; gratuities to tour manager, local guides, drivers; visa or passport fees; medical and trip interruption insurance; evacuation costs; food or beverages not included in group meals; items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcohol, telephone expense, excess baggage fees, photo/video expenses inside museums (where allowed); other items not expressly listed as included.
Join our Facbook group here to see the reports with photos and videos of previous years:

Here are some of our former participants just before our performance: