Tara Pandeya

About us

Tara Pandeya creates new choreographic works and teaches to build cross-cultural bridges, to connect with people and to evoke curiosity in others. Tara is a second-generation dancer, teacher and choreographer of eastern and western heritage. She is an international performing artist who has dedicated the last 18 years of her life to the preservation and promotion of dance from the Central Asian Silk Road. She specializes in dance from the regions of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, East Turkestan, Iran, Kurdistan and Azerbaijan. As the daughter of a professional dancer and arts educator, Tara was exposed to dance and music since infancy; she trained in multiple dance styles including classical South and North Indian, traditional Middle Eastern, Central Asian, modern, tap and ethno-contemporary. Tara is dedicated to taking an in-depth approach to traditional dance. She has completed dance residencies in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Uyghur Autonomous Xinjiang, China, Pakistan and India. Tara has conducted anthropological dance research in these regions both through the Tajik Dance Initiative NGO, of which she was a founding member in 2006. Tara has choreographed solo works as well as numerous group pieces as guest choreographer for dance companies including Ballet Afsaneh, The Presidio Performing Arts Foundation, Shahrazad Dance company, Danceversity and the Tajik-based dance company Padida Theater. She has been commissioned for her solo work in Tajikistan by UNESCO in 2016 to create a cross-cultural piece with the National Opera of Tajikistan, as well solo creations for the SF Ethnic Dance Festival in 2010 and 2015. Tara is the recipient of over ten grants for her work, from a 2017 Asian Cultural Council and Rockefeller grant to conduct dance research in Pakistan, to the Next Generation Grant, an Apprenticeship Fellowship from ACTA to transcribe Uzbek drum rhythms for dance, to a Margaret Jenkin's Chime Choreography Fellowship, as the only traditionally trained dance awardee. She was also nominated for ‘best solo artist of the year’ by the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, given an Individual Artist Grant through the Marin Arts Council, and was also selected as a guest solo artist for two 2010 Creative Work Fund projects for ethno-contemporary dance work. From 2010-2015, Tara played the principle dance role of 'Oceanne' (the goddess of water) in Cirque du Soleil's Dralion, for which she performed 1,500 shows on 5 continents in 170 cities. In 2017, Tara won at the ‘Audacious Minds Platform’ to have her one-woman dance piece produced in Berlin in October, 2017.

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