Category Archives: Dance


Aver Lezginka Dancers drawn by Julian Williams
Aver Lezginka Dancer from Dagestan

Lezginka Dancers – the dance between eagles and swans

I saw Lezginka dancers for the first time in 2014 when I was unwillingly dragged by my wife to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochii, Russia. I am allergic to sport and ended up spending most of my time in the cultural venue where I saw Lezginka dancing for the first time. (see my illustrated blog post about my visit to Sochii).

Lezginka dancing is a generic term for an exciting dance form found amongst the many tribal nations (Both Islamic and Christian) that live in Caucasus mountains bordering the Black and Caspian seas. The Male Lezginka dancers are eagles and the girls are Swans. This video shows just how much fun this style of dancing is:

The colourful tribal costumes are as exciting as the the dances.

Adygean Lezginka dancers
Adygean Lezginka Dancer in traditional costume

Our new friends in the cultural tent invited us to a wedding in Dagestan, which was an opportunity not to be missed. In Dagestan we met watch the professional Lezginka dancers in rehearsal. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life.

Lezginka Dancers at a wedding
Lezginka Wedding

(I wrote four blog pieces about the Dagestani wedding)

This is a gallery of the drawings I made during my trips to Sochii and Dagestan

This is a video of the professional group of Lezginka dancers in their very beautiful costumes from Adygea. Watch how the Swans float and the eagles prance.

One of my Lezginka images was reproduced for a Two Bad Mice greeting card

Two Bad Mice Greeting Card

Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Paul Ghislan - performs the dying swan for Les Ballet Trockerdero de Monte Carlo
Paul Ghislan – performs the dying swan for Les Ballet Trockerdero de Monte Carlo

I was fortunate to be allowed to watch “The Trocks” practice whilst they visited Cardiff on Tour. I have written two blog pieces about these visits; here and here

Paul’s performance of The Dying Swan is almost Shakespearian in its combination of humour and gravitas

This is a gallery of the images I made:

Mami Dance

Mami Usami Dancing

This is my wife, Mami, who I met at the Dance Centre in 1976. Mami, who is now in her mid 60s, is still performing. She has a website where you can see pictures and videos. Today we live in West Wales where there are no dance studios, however I draw her when she is practising.

Mami dancing

My galleries of drawings of Mami are interesting because they include techniques I have developed since I started reading books about how the brain works. The drawings are about the balancing ephemeral movement with structure.

This a gallery of Dance drawings