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2 February 2017

Tamara Khanum: The Beauty of the Great Dancer

At the heart of the capital, close to the busy road, behind the houses and business centers, hidden is a museum of one of the most prominent women of Uzbekistan – Tamara Khanum. The House Museum is located on the street named in honor of this great singer and dancer, and this is the house where she spent the last years of her life.

Tamara Khanum is the artistic pseudonym of Tamara Artyomovna Petrosyan. She was born in 1906 in the Ferghana Valley. As early as at the age 13, she realized that her love for the national music and dance was not a ‘disease’ from which she had to recover, but a worthy feeling of love for the creativity of the people, who brought up her. And her life was filled with this absolute love.

As the Museum Director Gularo Abdullayeva told, Tamara Khanum lived in Chilonzor district. Composers, musicians, and artists frequently visited her. She madly loved dancing: in every spare moment, in any place, even in her small apartment. So soon she was offered to move to a more spacious apartment, where she was able to not only dance, but also to display her collection of amazing costumes.

Thus, in her lifetime Tamara Khanum already had the first exhibition of the museum, which included her collection of costumes of the peoples of the world.

Paranja (the Orient veil) opens the exhibition. In childhood of the future artist the Central Asian women wore such veil. Although Tamara Khanum never worn such veil, but her repertoire has a dance with this attire. In contrast to the gray closed attire the other costumes are of bright national color: rich fabrics of silk and Bukhara gold-embroidery. At that time only the rich married women could afford these outfits. In the dress made of nomoshom atlas fabric Tamara Khanum performed the most favorite national dances.

Here is the Khorezm dress in which the artist first took to the stage with one of the most stirring national dances - lazgi. Bright scarlet dress perfectly combined with mursak, the robe of deep green color, perfectly demonstrated her natural beauty. Golden shoes and colorful skullcap with numerous large sequins harmoniously completed the image of the Uzbek beauty.

Perhaps, the pride of the outstanding dancer was the Nagorno-Karabakh costume demonstrating the ethnic roots of Tamara Khanum. The museum archive stores photos, on which the grandmothers and aunts of Tamara Petrosyan were in the same dresses as these attires were considered the national costume of the Armenians.

“When I start understanding the people, I began to grasp the features of dialect, intonations, melodies and movements very quickly. This meant I not only I understood the people, but also opened my heart to it - fell in love,” Tamara Khanum told about herself.

Design of each costume she carefully thought over and put her soul into their creation. And only then dressmakers started sewing the costumes, in which the dancer traveled to more than 50 countries.

Her repertoire included more than 80 songs and dances of the peoples of the world. Therefore, the House Museum displays the Turkmen, Georgian, Japanese, Korean, Azerbaijani, Gypsy, Afghan, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and other costumes.

In addition to the personal collection of costumes which occupies a large part of the exhibition hall, in the House Museum visitors can see the interior of living rooms, the collection of photographs and posters, sound recordings and manuscripts of poems of the singer, portraits of Tamara Khanum created by Uzbek artists.

The creative path of Tamara Khanum lasted more than 60 years. Devoting her life to the arts, she became a true symbol of the Uzbek national dance.

Author: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper
Views: 8440