My name is Tara Catherine Pandeya, I am a second-generation dancer and choreographer who has been dancing since the age of three. I have been touring the world as a dancer for the last ten years.

In 2010, I ran away with the circus. It was a wild ride that lasted nearly five years and took me to 170 cities across five continents, performing 1,500 shows. You may have heard of Cirque du Soleil; it is a circus known for its dazzling spectacles performed by an army of acrobats, aerialists, trampolinists, actors, musicians - and dancers like myself.

I started striking backbend poses next to landmarks I visited while on tour - mostly for the benefit of my mother and now almost 99-year-old grandma back home in San Francisco. They missed me and had started complaining that I hardly ever sent them photos of myself as I travelled on the road (on tour we changed to a new city or country on Sunday nights every week).

The backbend – is a distinctive shape in Central Asian dance, which is my passion - became my signature pose.  When I set my mind to something I don’t easily let go, and in the following years my family and friends received backbend shots from over 60 locations around the globe.

I have to admit that often my life on tour has been so fast paced that I sometimes don’t even remember being at some of the locations shown in my pictures. Some are unforgettable though, such as the time we waited in the dark in -30C weather to see the Northern Lights in Alaska, hiking up a rock to bend at the ‘Roof of the World’ in the Pamir mountains, jumping up on the back of a psychedelically decorated truck in a truck depot in Karachi, Pakistan while bewildered truck drivers looked on and most recently on the coast of bright green Northern Ireland at Dunluce Caste. These shots soon became something of a tradition for me, one I have continued since leaving Cirque a few years back. My travel schedule hasn’t changed much: I moved to Central Asia to live, research, and perform professionally in the dance styles of this region, styles which I am classically trained.

I will make a book or calendar with all the backbends soon and I am currently working on my first one-woman show, to be premiered in Berlin on Oct.20-21st, 2017 supported by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, which will bring together contemporary elements of these dances, along with relevant social commentary on gender and the concept of being ‘other’.

More info: taradances.weebly.com | Facebook | Instagram

#1 California, United States At The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge In Tara's Home City. Photo Credit: Daniel Bahmani

California, United States At The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge In Tara's Home City. Photo Credit: Daniel Bahmani

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#2 Paris, France At The Eiffel Tower. Photo Credit Assunta Sebastian

Paris, France At The Eiffel Tower. Photo Credit Assunta Sebastian

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#3 Sughd, Tajikistan At Iskanderkul (a Lake Named After Alexander The Great). Photo Credit Jason Fong

Sughd, Tajikistan At Iskanderkul (a Lake Named After Alexander The Great). Photo Credit Jason Fong

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#4 Belfast, Ireland At Dunluce Castle. Photo Credit Stacy Teague

Belfast, Ireland At Dunluce Castle. Photo Credit Stacy Teague

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#5 Fairbanks, Alaska Outside Of The Carlson Center. Photo Credit Timothy Hasting

Fairbanks, Alaska Outside Of The Carlson Center. Photo Credit Timothy Hasting

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Claudia Espindola 1 year ago

Beautiful

#6 In Khorog, Badakhshan, In The 'pamirs' The Roof Of The World. Photo Credit Roma Buryaek

In Khorog, Badakhshan, In The 'pamirs' The Roof Of The World. Photo Credit Roma Buryaek

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#7 Lokrum, 'peacock' Island, Croatia. Photo Credit Marisa Vest

Lokrum, 'peacock' Island, Croatia. Photo Credit Marisa Vest

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Claudia Espindola 1 year ago

Nice

#8 Milan, Italy At Duomo Di Milano. Photo Credit Catherine Framm

Milan, Italy At Duomo Di Milano. Photo Credit Catherine Framm

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#9 Doha, Qatar At The Islamic Art Museum. Photo Credit Courtenay Stevens

Doha, Qatar At The Islamic Art Museum. Photo Credit Courtenay Stevens

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#10 Athens, Greece At The Parthenon. Photo Credit Ellen Pugliese

Athens, Greece At The Parthenon. Photo Credit Ellen Pugliese

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#11 Barcelona, Spain At Park Guell. Photo Credit Barbara Framm

Barcelona, Spain At Park Guell. Photo Credit Barbara Framm

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Waqas Ahmad 1 year ago

Why bending backward in all these pics. Great photography though.

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#12 Herning, Denmark At The Lighthouse By The Sea. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

Herning, Denmark At The Lighthouse By The Sea. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

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#13 Karachi, Pakistan At The Truck Depot. Photo Credit: Kohi Marri

Karachi, Pakistan At The Truck Depot. Photo Credit: Kohi Marri

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#14 Sullivan Sports Arena, Anchorage~backstage With Artists From Cirque Du Soleil's Dralion In Alaska Before Our Last Show. Photo Credit: Rachel Sterner

Sullivan Sports Arena, Anchorage~backstage With Artists From Cirque Du Soleil's Dralion In Alaska Before Our Last Show. Photo Credit: Rachel Sterner

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#15 Agra, India At The Taj Mahal, A Rare Moment Without Crowds. Photo Credit Sophia Ali

Agra, India At The Taj Mahal, A Rare Moment Without Crowds. Photo Credit Sophia Ali

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#16 Gran Canaria, Canary Islands At Roques Nublo. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

Gran Canaria, Canary Islands At Roques Nublo. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

breathtaking!!

#17 Mostar, Bosnia And Herzegovina At Stari Most Bridge. Photo Credit Rachel Sterner

Mostar, Bosnia And Herzegovina At Stari Most Bridge. Photo Credit Rachel Sterner

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#18 Samarkand, Uzbekistan In Registan Square. Photo Credit Unknown Tourist

Samarkand, Uzbekistan In Registan Square. Photo Credit Unknown Tourist

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

just magnificent...

#19 Marrakesh, Morocco La Mamounia Botanical Gardens. Photo Credit Jennifer Arbini

Marrakesh, Morocco La Mamounia Botanical Gardens. Photo Credit Jennifer Arbini

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

grace, beauty and subtlety

#20 Anchorage, Alaska -34c With The Northern Lights. Photo Credit Marina Vorobyeva

Anchorage, Alaska -34c With The Northern Lights. Photo Credit Marina Vorobyeva

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#21 Rome, Italy At The Colosseum. Photo Credit Ellen Pugliese

Rome, Italy At The Colosseum. Photo Credit Ellen Pugliese

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#22 Beirut, Lebanon At Baalbek. Photo Credit Eric Gerard

Beirut, Lebanon At Baalbek. Photo Credit Eric Gerard

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#23 London, England At Buckingham Palace. Photo Credit Random Tourist

London, England At Buckingham Palace. Photo Credit Random Tourist

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

The Queen should be impressed....

#24 Berlin, Germany At The East Side Gallery. Photo Credit Tarek Rammo

Berlin, Germany At The East Side Gallery. Photo Credit Tarek Rammo

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

at one with the wall....!

#25 Minsk, Belarus. Belexpo Exhibition Center With Stalinist Architecture. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

Minsk, Belarus. Belexpo Exhibition Center With Stalinist Architecture. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

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#26 Krakow, Poland At The Wawel Castle. Photo Credit Catherine Framm

Krakow, Poland At The Wawel Castle. Photo Credit Catherine Framm

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Claudia Espindola 1 year ago

Beautiful

#27 Istanbul, Turkey At The Blue Mosque. Photo Credit Waiter At Seven Hills Restaurant

Istanbul, Turkey At The Blue Mosque. Photo Credit Waiter At Seven Hills Restaurant

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#28 Bilbao, Spain At The Guggenheim Museum. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

Bilbao, Spain At The Guggenheim Museum. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

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#29 Guatemala City, Guatemala Inside The Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias For A Cirque Publicity Shoot. Photo Credit Julie Desmarais

Guatemala City, Guatemala Inside The Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias For A Cirque Publicity Shoot. Photo Credit Julie Desmarais

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Claudia Espindola 1 year ago

Nice dresses you have, 😃

#30 Guatemala City, Guatemala At The Mayan Ruins Of Tikal Flores. Photo Credit Angie West

Guatemala City, Guatemala At The Mayan Ruins Of Tikal Flores. Photo Credit Angie West

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#31 Bilbao, Spain At The Guggenheim Museum For A Cirque Publicity Shoot. Photo Credit Marisa Vest

Bilbao, Spain At The Guggenheim Museum For A Cirque Publicity Shoot. Photo Credit Marisa Vest

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#32 Moscow, Russia At The Moscow Kremlin. Photo Credit Ellen Pugliese

Moscow, Russia At The Moscow Kremlin. Photo Credit Ellen Pugliese

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

Actually, I think THIS one is my favorite!!! It doesn't even look real!! But I know it is...

#33 Ontario, Canada At The Frosty Waterfront In Sault Sainte Marie, Canada. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

Ontario, Canada At The Frosty Waterfront In Sault Sainte Marie, Canada. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

brrrrrrrrrrr.!!!!

#34 Turino, Italy At The National Museum. Photo Credit Alexandre Reis Alexreis

Turino, Italy At The National Museum. Photo Credit Alexandre Reis Alexreis

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

life mimicking nature....<3

#35 Pennsylvania, United States In Wilkes-barre. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

Pennsylvania, United States In Wilkes-barre. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

just beautiful

#36 Hisor, Tajikistan At Hisor Castle. Photo Credit Chelsey Dawes

Hisor, Tajikistan At Hisor Castle. Photo Credit Chelsey Dawes

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

the boots make it! (not to mention how amazing it is to be standing on top of Hisor Castle...! Colors match too....

#37 Almaty, Kazakhstan At Shymbulak. Photo Credit Random Tourist

Almaty, Kazakhstan At Shymbulak. Photo Credit Random Tourist

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

take your breath away beautiful....

#38 Kazan, Tataristan, Russia At Qolsharif Mosque. Photo Credit Ellen Pugliese

Kazan, Tataristan, Russia At Qolsharif Mosque. Photo Credit Ellen Pugliese

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

ice-ly magnificent....

#39 Nice, France At Castle Hill. Photo Credit: Nora Markocsany

Nice, France At Castle Hill. Photo Credit: Nora Markocsany

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Barbara Framm 1 year ago

love the way you are lined up with the clouds....and the horizon. This has to be one of the most gorgeous and iconic shots! And it's hard to pick, because there are many!!

#40 Malmo, Sweden. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

Malmo, Sweden. Photo Credit Timothy Hastings

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