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Academics and practitioners

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Since modern dance and contemporary performance is such a recent phenomenon in Turkey, there are very few critics and scholars who are experts in the field. Prof. Arzu Özturkmen is one of the important figures and the teacher of many younger theoreticians, including the writer of this report. She has a PhD in Folklore Studies and is one of the first researchers of modern dance in Turkey. She extensively conducted research on Folk Dance Institutions and the early Republican dance scene. She is currently teaching in the History Department at Bogazici University, Istanbul. She is also a member of the CGSG network (http://arzuozturkmen.blogspot.com).

 

Prof. Sebnem Aksan, the founder of the Mimar Sinan University Modern Dance Department, writes on dance in various journals and newspapers as a critic. Geyvan Mcmillen, the founder of the Yıldız Teknik University Modern Dance Department also used to write in journals and newspapers. Gurur Ertem, the artistic director of the iDANS Festival is also a dance scholar and writes more in English than Turkish (www.dansistan.blogspot.com). Aylin Kalem, the founder of boDig and the director of Management of Performing Arts/ Performing Arts Field at Bilgi University has a blog and writes regularly in journals and newspapers. She is the dance editor of the Time Out Istanbul magazine (www.aylinkalem.blogspot.com).

 

The writer of this report, Ass. Prof. Zeynep Gunsur who was the head of Modern Dance Department at Yıldız University (resigned to establish an interdisciplinary art program/ M.A at Kadir Has University) and also the founder of the Movement Atelier Company writes in certain Turkish journals and also for foreign publications. Some of her publications are cited in the footnotes of this report (www.hareketatolyesi.blogspot.com). Deniz Polat, the founder of CATDAL, A Research Laboratory of Turkish Contemporary Dance is currently working on her PhD thesis in MIAM (The Advanced Resarch Center of Music) at Istanbul Technical University and writes occasionally as a dance critic. Among the younger generation, Berna Kurt produces texts both as a critic and as a scholar mostly in the Mimesis journal (http://mimesis-dergi.org). Evren Erbatur, who is a research assistant at the Maltepe University Theater Department, writes on Turkish contemporary performance in several journals. She wrote her MA thesis on dramaturgy of the body in contemporary performance (http://gsf.maltepe.edu.tr). There are various artists, mostly from theatre, who also occasionally write on contemporary dance and performance, such as: Şule Ateş, Yeşim Özsoy, Nihal Koldaş. From the contemporary dance field, Şafak Uysal and İlyas Odman are the ones who occasionally produce critical texts.

 

In folklore studies, there are a few critics/scholars who are also interested in contemporary performance. As already mentioned, Prof. Arzu Öztürkmen is one of the very few. Serpil Murtezaoğlu is another one who is currently an assistant professor of ITU Turkish Music State Conservatory. She studied Folk Dances and Folk Theatre and did Anthology-Research practices. She graduated from the Department of Turkish Folk Dances, ITU Turkish Music State Conservatory. She took her master degree in Turkish Folk Dances Program and doctorate degree in Turkish Folk Music and became assistant professor in the year 2006 (www.cihangirlink.org). Some good critical texts on folk dance in general can be found in: http://dansyazilari.blogspot.com/2010/04/altin-adimlar-halk-oyunlari-cephesinde.html and http://dansyazilari.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html