Dancing banned in Turkmenistan

The President permitted to restore opera and circus. Ballet is still banned. In the meantime, the dance groups are experiencing problems. Starting early January the dance groups are barred from performing in the Ashgabat restaurants.

At the start of the year the meeting of the special commission was held in the Ashgabat City hall. The managers of six dance groups involved in the entertainment and recreation business in the Ashgabat night life were invited to join the session. Each of them was interviewed face-to-face. The key claim presented to them was that they are not officially licensed to engage in this type of activity.

All above-mentioned groups were banned from performing without a license. The next week all managers of the dance groups submitted the documents to the Ministry of Culture and TV and Radio Broadcasting to legalize their activity. However, the participants of the dance groups confess that they feel a biased and unfair attitude towards them.

Usually the dance groups are invited to perform at family celebrations and most frequently, at weddings. "Singers, musicians, toast-masters, photographers, cameramen take part in such festivities together with us. They are also supposed to have licenses pursuant to the Turkmen law", say the dancers, "however, they were not summoned by the commission and continue to work in their regular mode to the present day".

Indeed, it seems strange that even now the dance groups are still barred from performing in public after they had submitted all the documents to obtain a license. In compliance with the law, they are entitled to work since the registration procedure is underway.

"We assume that the era of ignorance and pseudo piety is approaching in this country", share their thoughts the managers of the dance groups. Moreover, they recall that recently they were reprimanded after performing at receptions: "Aren't you ashamed to dance in such a way?!" Some people do not like explicit costumes of female dancers. "After all, we make art and do not expose our bodies as some ignorant people think", say resented choreographers. It should be mentioned that they have special training and qualifications, which implies that they are professionals in their field.

It would be appropriate to recall Turkmenistan's special attitude towards ballet. Even now when the President lifted the ban on opera, the Opera theatre is scheduled to be opened, but without Ballet. The puzzled experts say: "Why didn't the President mention ballet?" Apparently, dancing as the type of art related to ballet is likely to fall into oblivion in the independent Turkmenistan, which is a secular state according to the Constitution.

Source: TIHR