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Tashkent is a leisure industry

posted 14 May 2016, 04:44 by Webmaster Ambasciata

Spring is in the air. Cities bristle with posters, and the media abounds with announcements. What is behind the palette of bright colors? Uzbekistan Today reporters attempted to find an answer to the question.

Unparalleled Colors

The country is living an interesting and eventful cultural life, which is backed by a whole industry of services. In the fight for customers, it competes with the Internet and TV. Today the palette of cultural life is largely determined by people’s preferences. The domestic entertainment and recreation industry here is something, which is not suppressed by the trends of popular culture, retaining its face, and is characterized by a commitment to highly moral national and universal values. Critics say that it was enriched with centuries-old national values at the result of national revival policy pursued by Uzbekistan in the years of independence.

A festival of fine and applied arts is underway in the country. It clearly demonstrates the aesthetics and demand for the products of the craftsmen who stick to the laws of the centuries-old traditions that are passed down from generation to generation. Moreover, they motivate the masters for creating works of contemporary art. There is a reason behind the growing number of trade hand-made fairs in the capital.

The State Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments has on several occasions demonstrated its capacity to compete with colleagues from the symphony orchestra in performing works by Strauss, Jenkins, Enya, Gershwin, Murtazavi, Hrisomalis, and other composers. One such concert held at the State Conservatoire two weeks ago has vividly confirmed this.

Spring in Uzbekistan is a time for festivities, a chance to get acquainted with the traditional art of various nations on stage or in exhibition halls. For example, the agenda of Navruz celebration involves concert performances of cultural centers of different nationalities living in Uzbekistan. A worthy place in the palette of cultural diversity is occupied by creativity meetings, literary evenings, exhibitions, concerts and competitions dedicated to the world days of theater and poetry, the international day of museums, parks, children's book. The International Day of Jazz, for instance lasts for a month in Uzbekistan for the second year run.

The Batyr Zakirov Jazz Band under the artistic guidance of Mansur Tashmatov has become its creative pillar. By the way, almost all domestic groups presented at the festival have established close creative relationships with the orchestra. The country's major jazz band performs both solo and in collaboration with foreign parties. Music historians point out to the growing popularity of the Tashkent festival. This year, the number of foreign participants has almost doubled against the previous year. The American The Exchange has already pleased the Tashkent and Samarkand audience with their voices and capella performance. Music amateurs are currently anticipating the performances of Czech saxophonist Michal Wroblewski, a big band of the Latvian radio, Dviki Darmawan from Indonesia, French pianist Hervé Sellana, and jazz musicians from Turkey and Switzerland.


Theaters and cinemas have been leading in the number of posters in almost every corner of the country. The number of theaters has increased to 39 professional teams in the last 24 years in Uzbekistan. The construction of new buildings for them is currently underway under special projects. For instnace, the construction of the Andijan Puppet Theater and Youth Theater in Nukus is currently in full swing. They have intensified their touring activity: more than 50 theater groups tour in remote villages.

Theaters accentuate the restoration of national and international classical works equally with new productions. Having returned home after a long break, the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre pleased its fans with news of the full restoration of the rich repertoire. The staff started fulfilling the promise immediately. Opera Sadokat by Rustam Abdullayev, opera Aleko by Sergei Rachmaninov, Ulugbek Musaev’s ballet Tomiris have topped the series of expected surprises.

The Kashkadarya Regional Theater of Music Drama is currently running William Shakespeare's ‘King Lear’, the Khorezm Theater – Sophocles' tragedy of Antigone, and the Bukhara Regional Musical Drama and Comedy Theater has premiered Zafarnoma. Even the Muqimi Drama and Comedy Theater, pleasing the spectators mainly with comedies of late, has embarked on classics – the team is currently working on the production of a fairy tale, Tahir and Zuhra.

Creative and Production Association Uzbekteatr has been attaching importance to the creative exchange between theaters. For example, the production of the Mirzo Ulugbek play at Samarkand Regional Drama and Music Theater involved not only a director and an artist, but also an actor from Tashkent. It is a valuable experience for the young actors to work on the same stage with the People's Artist of Uzbekistan Erkin Komilov. First-run performances had a great success in Samarkand.  The play will be performed in the capital on the stage of the Uzbek National Academic Drama Theatre late April.

Global trends, experiments and innovations are close to the contemporary theatre of Uzbekistan. Creative circles of Uzbekistan and Germany have been actively discussing the outcomes of the exchange tours of the Youth Theatre of Uzbekistan and Youth Theatre of Heidelberg. The Heinrich von Kleist's play Michael Kolhaas was staged as part of an international project in both theaters. And the experiment is unique in the fact that The Uzbek director Obid Abdurakhmanov worked with German actors in Germany, and the German director Francis Teresa Schütz worked with Uzbek actors in Uzbekistan. What has the experiment showed?

Creativity has no limits, because the representatives of different theater schools managed to create two completely different performances on the basis of one dramaturgical material. There was much in common in these two works. The artist Philippe Kieffer created the cabinets as the scenery, which were identical in both performances. The composer Vitaliy Aminov found it right to write music separately for each performance.

As a result, dozens of productions of Michael Kolhaas are run today all over the world. The Uzbek-German experiment has increased their number by two more. Schütz modernized the play by dressing the characters in T-shirts saying ‘Me is Kolhaas’. They play online games, write SMS, and the role of horses is 'performed' by bikes! .. The Obid Abdurakhmanov’s production is much stricter. Special effects in the form of a projection of racing horses, alarming leitmotif ...

Along with the foreign entertainment products, cinemas please the amateurs with donesitally produced premiers. Though the number of cinemas has decreased, every regional center will have its own cinema hall.

About 20 movies by local filmmakers are annually run on the big screens around the country. The Rustam Sagdiev’s action premiere The Baron ranks among the most sensational movies. The involvement of Russian and Hollywood actors and shootings in Russia and Turkey has ensured the interest in the film long before it reached the screen.

Being the first Uzbek movie in 4K format, The Baron has symbolized the modernization of the national cinema. Experts believe that the cinema development proigram will help to intensify the production of the movies filmed using the latest technologies. In the near future, film studios will receive the equipment for making high-definition movies and more realistic cartoons.

In a Different Format

Freedom of creativity and diversity reigned in the grounds offering a new format of recreation to mostly young audience. TCHK, Performance Bar and Event Cafe, for example, offer cultural events in addition to traditional gastronomic services. It is always fun to spend time there. TCHK, for instance, has been pleasing its audience with the brightest shows by illusionist Dmitry Polyakov, performances of Wings of Origami and traditional humorous evenings with the participation of Superpeople. Meetings with artists, architects as well as movies at Cinema club are regular in the Event Cafe’s agenda.

Youth teams find their audience through social networks. Located in small premises, they still garantee comfort for each guest. Sitting on the sofas or arm-chairs, the audience can enjoy tea, coffee and even a meal.

Social networks have joined people in the movie club Paradiso. The community of amateurs of good movie meets up periodically in the capital's cafes to watch and discuss rare movies. Approximately the same scenario applies to the book club Suhbat.

Pop star projects enrich the cultural life. one of was The family musical Snow Queen by Hasan and Husan Salikhovs ranked among the most anticipated events in a series of new year productions of 2016. Live performance, a sea of drive and plastics have won the hearts of spectators. Now they anticipate a new show entitled My Tashkent. The premiere is scheduled for May with participation of pop stars.

Through the Eyes of Exhibitions

Expositions of exhibition halls and museums strike with diversity unlike the monotony of personal exhibitions of artists, subject shows on the occasion of celebrations. Uzbek art leading critics point out to the lack of dynamics too. The latest trends suggest that the criticism was heard.

The evening of Uzbek traditional epic at the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan caused a public response. Spectators got acquainted with a variety of traditional arts, the masterpieces of world culture, and heard the epics by the renowned epic teller Abdunazar Poyonov.

Visitors have been increasingly involved in projects. For example, a project of the ‘Afishka’ short film festival ‘Puzzles of Art’ is a demonstration of pictures and works of artists, which is accompanied by custom-composed music. Three exhibitions under the project were distinguished by the number of participants. The first one featured the works participating in the ‘Afishka’ festival, the second exhibited the works of indended participants, and the last exhibition featured all those who wanted to participate.

Here is another interesting project. On April 26, the Tashkent House of Photography will host the final leg of the contest ‘Draw Me a Song’ on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Botir Zakirov. It will feature works by painters inspired by the works of the famous artist.

Apparently, this is just the beginning. Museums had excuses in the lack of space. The problem was taken into account when designing the reconstruction of existing and construction of new buildings for of this type of institutions. For example, the new buildings of the Savitsky State Museum of Arts of Karakalpakstan, which are being prepared for commissioning, provide the conditions for storage and restoration of masterpieces, space the various events, symposia, film shows. There is even a gift shop and a coffee room to make the museum more convenient and attractive.


Events in the parks do not need posters. There are always many visitors, who take interest in performances of artistic teams of culture and leisure centers. Amateur artists often show a high professional level. It couldn’t be different, since the ongoing program on strengthening the logistical caqpacity of this kind of institutions has been providing decent conditions for their rehearsals and performance. The technical capacity of the centers will be upgraded under the complex of measures by 2018.

About fifty parks have been rehabilitated over the past five years in various parts of the country, the others undergo modernization.

Owing to a targeted program, parks will please their visitors not only with new rides. The development of a water park network has been in progress. There are currently three water parks in Tashkent alone, there are several in the regions. A water park in Zarafshan of Navoi is the latest park. One is being built in the Samarkand region. There are parks with ice rinks and cart tracks.

Core specialists are currently working on the construction of Tashkent Zoo branches in Samarkand and Ferghana, and on the reconstruction of Termez Zoo. By the way, in Namangan zoo appeared thanks to the efforts of entrepreneurs.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)