Diasporic Dialogues is a program series exploring how Bukharian Jewish and Crimean Tatar artists have been sustaining traditional music and dance in New York City. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union thirty years ago in 1991, members of both communities left Central Asia to pursue new lives in the United States. However some community members continue to hold onto the belief that they will one day arrive at their true homelands in places like the Crimean Peninsula or Israel.
After thirty years in the American melting pot, a stellar set of artists (the NY Crimean Tatar Ensemble, Bukharian master of the shashmaqam tradition Roshel Rubinov) and community organizers (Nariman Asanov of the Association of Crimean Turks and Manashe Khaimov of the Sephardic American Mizrahi Initiative) take time out to take stock of the American experience. During a live roundtable and pre-recorded concert, these remarkable artists and organizers explore the following questions:
- How do the challenges of sustaining tradition in the United States compare with those during the Soviet Union?
- How and why have younger generations with roots in the boroughs learned from their first-generations with roots far away in the homeland?
- What aspects of traditional music and dance make it possible or difficult for youth to learn in the American context?
Insights into these questions can help us better understand the on-the-ground realities of sustaining traditional music and dance in the City of Immigrants.