Well this has been quite a start to the trip. From napkin flowers at breakfast to exchanging music with young English students, to teaching a workshop to 200 orphans, to being the first (and maybe the only) American dance company to perform in a country where their own national identity and culture is so strongly enforced that outside influences are strictly controlled, shaking hands with ambassadors, to taking hundreds of pictures with excited people who have literally never seen anything like what we did last night on stage. And I mean never.... They've seen what Hollywood has produced but live performance is quite a different thing and contemporary art that has meaning beyond spectacle is quite another.
There was skepticism at how we would be received at first and even at the top of the show there was apparently still some hesitancy as to what was happening on stage but Sean's brilliant and subtle use of humor broke down all cultural barriers astonishingly quickly.
I wouldn't be surprised (and this was confirmed by some of the English language students who volunteered to help out backstage) if there was a small trend of wearing horn rimmed glasses in at least the Ashgabat youth culture. Shane Dennis Rutkowski bringing pub tricks and 90s nerd/alt rock fashion to the world.
I could go on and on about how fulfilling and rewarding this experience has been but I think you get the point...
What I will say is this
We've changed things.
Next stop Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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