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Festivals and Events


There are only three festivals that stage contemporary dance. IKSV International Theater Festival is being held bi-annually (www.iksv.org) and iDANS Festival each year (www.idans.info). They are both held in Istanbul. The METU / ODTU Contemporary Dance Festival (www.cdt.metu.edu.tr) has been realized for the last 15 years in Ankara, but ceased to exist in 2010 because of the decreasing support from the university. It was a special platform that had come into being by the fierce efforts of university students of the METU contemporary dance club. Apart from these there are no stable festivals staging contemporary dance.

Transit is an interesting ongoing international project that gathers artists and audiences from different backgrounds in and around the practice of improvisation and performance art. Its artistic director is Yanel Plumet and its coordinator is Defne Erdur Bekdik. Transit was initiated by the French cultural association Compagnie Coulisse in 2006 and has been based in Istanbul ever since. It chooses specific sites and environments, using their natural, cultural, social and architectural characteristics as practical frameworks and as a source of inspiration (www.transit-istanbul.org).

There are two festivals dedicated to new technologies, media, and dance/body relations. Bodig is, among various other things, a platform for the promotion of works through festival and exhibition organization (www.bodig.org). The Amber Art and Technology Festival has been held for the last three years. This year Amber Festival especially seeks interactive installations designed for outdoor exhibition (www.amberfestival.org). There has been a “dance on video” festival in Istanbul for the last two years focusing on video dance, dance on camera, dance photography and dance film screenings. The festival director is Onur Topal Sumer, an ex-student of Yıldız Technical University Modern Dance Department. Dance Camera Istanbul annually shows international dance films, camera re-works and experimental movement-based films by contemporary video artists and choreographers from student to professional levels (www.dancecamera-istanbul.org)

There are two international ballet festivals in Antalya and Bodrum, organized by the Ministry of Culture –Directorate General of State Opera and Ballet. This year the 17th International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival (www.aspendosfestival.gov.tr) took place in Antalya, and the 8th International Bodrum Ballet Festival (www.bodrumballetfestival.gov.tr) was held in Bodrum. There has been an international ballet competition held in Istanbul for the last two years: Istanbul International Ballet Competition (www.istanbulballetcompetition.gov.tr).

The second Street Dance Festival was held in 2010 at Bahçeşehir University Fazıl Say Hall, coordinated by Duygu Etikan (more info at www.danskurslari.org). The 3rd Hacettepe Dance Festival which was held in April 2010 is an international Latin dance festival (www.hudast.net). The first International Salsa Festival of Turkey was held in Antalya this year: Antalya International Salsa Festival. Another dance festival which features tango, hip hop and salsa is the ITÜ Dance Festival (more info at www.danskurslari.org).