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The Golden Road to Samarkand Dance Concert

The Golden Road to Samarkand Dance Concert

Silk Road Dance Company returns to Joe’s Movement Emporium for their annual performance featuring eastern delights for all the senses



MT. RAINIER, MD — A timeless journey in dance to the heart of Central Asia, The Golden Road to Samarkand will be presented on May 11, 2019, at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, Maryland. Performed by Silk Road Dance Company (SRDC) and guest artists, the concert presents dances from the varied cultures along ancient caravan routes, all leading to the fabled city of Tamerlane. Tickets to The Golden Road to Samarkand can be purchased for the 2pm matinee or the 8pm evening shows. Audience members can enjoy a pre-matinee buffet of Silk Road cuisine, catered by Marco & Polo Restaurant, for an additional fee. For more information and ticket orders, go to:


Conceived and directed by Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray, The Golden Road to Samarkand draws upon historical sources to examine the delicate balance between art and power. Dances from Uzbek, Persian, Tajik, Azeri, Afghan, Uyghur, Turkmen, Indian, and Kazakh cultures portray the cosmopolitan legacy of Samarkand. Lavish, detailed costumes – many designed by Gray – offer a visual reminder of the diversity of peoples who contributed to the development of Samarkand. 

“This is more than an ethnographic travelogue,” explains Gray who carefully selected traditional pieces as well as created new choreographies for the concert. “These dances depict the range of human emotion, from love and longing to sorrow and despair.” Gray sees the caravan as a metaphor for the human journey; Samarkand embodies the desire for fame, power, wealth – and beauty, too. 

The Golden Road to Samarkand premiered in 2006, inspired by the Silk Road Dance Company’s trip to the ancient Uzbek city in August of 2005 to perform at the UNESCO sponsored Sharq Taronalari (Melodies of the East) International Festival. The company became the first American dance ensemble to earn this invitation. During the Samarkand festival, SRDC became acquainted with leading artists from over 50 countries, participating in the revitalization of Samarkand’s role as a major cultural center for the Eastern world.


Founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray - World Dance professor at George Washington University - the award-winningcritically acclaimed Silk Road Dance Company (SRDC) presents an extensive repertoire of more than 200 dances from Central Asia, Iran, the Middle East, South Asia,  the Caucasus. and beyond.  Silk Road Dance Company has given  performances internationally  in Uzbekistan, Qatar, Singapore, United Kingdom and Canada. Based in Washington, DC, the ensemble has graced prestigious national venues including two White House  performances and  11  Kennedy Center appearances. They have given presentations for 11 different embassy events, most recently at the Embassy of Albania.

With the goal of promoting “Cultural Understanding through Beauty and Delight,” their pioneering performances offer a unique glimpse of the life and art of ancient cultures, especially the Islamic World. Silk Road Dance Company offers programs which reflect the depth and breadth of field research and study conducted by Dr. Gray who has received many awards for her life-time of creative work, including recognition from Uzbekistan's Ministry of Culture.  


Established in 1995, Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity. Based in Mount Rainier, Maryland in the Prince George’s Gateway Arts District, Joe’s serves more than 70,000 visitors annually. Joe’s has five arts-based youth programs that bridge the creative divide between under-resourced families and those with means. Through programs and productions in education, performing arts, and work readiness, Joe’s integrates progressive education, creativity, and youth development.

In 2016, Joe’s achieved the Standards of Excellence through the Maryland Association of Nonprofits, which validates and promotes our exemplary work in youth arts education programming. Additionally, Joe’s earned the highest possible rating through Maryland EXCELS (level 1) based upon nationally recognized quality standards and best practices. This rating allows Joe’s to receive state funds to expand our reach in providing high quality arts education to youth in our community.