Performing Art Traditions in Tajikistan

Performing art traditions in Tajikistan go back to the epoch of Zoroastrizm which was widespread on this territory long time ago. This fact is proved by the ancient rock drawings. Various dramatized performances reflected in songs and dances were connected with the people's everyday lives, their cult rituals and customs.

The participants of the dramatized performances played roles different creatures - albastibozi (a demon)‚ rubokhbozi (a fox)‚ sherbozi (a lion)‚ maimunbozi (a monkey)‚ ukobbozi (an eagle)‚ khirsbozi (a bear), etc.

Zochabozi is a puppet show one of the most popular genre of performing art with centuries-old history. The art of puppeteers very popular in Samarkand‚ Bukhara (Uzbekistan)‚ Khujand‚ Ura-Tyube (Tajikistan). Normally, the company included lukhyabozi (puppeteers), surnaichi (surna players)‚ nagorachikho - musicians playing nagoraнагора ( percussions). In Bukhara-based companies they were also maskharbozi - buffoons. The shows of puppeteers were accompanied by singing‚ music‚ dances and games.

One of the most ancient kinds of national shows is chodirkhayol (chodari dasti‚ zochai chodir) - tent of phantoms. Such kinds of shows were mentioned in pre-Islamic written sources. Those were performances of puppets manipulated hands (similar to Russian Petrushka). The group normally consisted of 9 people (a puppeteer‚ 4-5 musicians‚ 1-2 dancers‚ maskharbozi and an acrobat-dorboz).

Performances called oftobkhon and mokhtobkhon were about people's everyday lives. Comic plays: khirsbozi - a bear hunt‚ bulbulbozi - a nightingale‚ hindubozi - Indian. Maskharabozi (buffoons) is a kind of performing art with ancient traditions. Besides drama actors used the elements of pantomime, songs, dances‚ circus acts. Among popular characters are a rais‚ a judge, a kaziy‚a mullah.

A lot of folk performing arts have survived. For example, in Pamir you can watch mugulbozi - a drama about a Mongol woman; bobopirak is about an old man; thenbozi - about dervishes, polvonkachal (a lame warrior) - very popular character of the national Tajik performing art. He shows also reflected events in the public life of Tajiks.