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Folk Dance Organizations


Stichting Bosphorus

Stichting Bosporus is a cultural foundation founded in 1994 by Halil Ibrahim Kargi and other people with roots in Turkey. Dance and music lessons are their core activities. By means of these activities they aim to improve the position (emancipation, integration and participation) of Turkish inhabitants of the city of Dordrecht in Dutch society. Before his death in 2005, Halil Ibrahim Kargi was the driving force behind the Stichting. Halil Ibrahim Kargi set up numerous collaborations with other cultural institutions based in Dordrecht.

Stichting Bosporus offers Turkish Folk dance courses at Wijkcentrum Rietschors in Dordrecht.


Stichting kunstzinnige vorming ToBe  

In collaboration with Stichting Bosporus stichting ToBe offered the course Turkish Folk Dance for all age groups. The groups practice various dances from Anatolia and Trace. As a result of the lessons some dance groups were formed that perform Turkish dances at special events. In 2000 and 2004 large scale performances were organized with Schouwburg Kunstmin in Dordrecht. In the 2004 project: ‘Turkulerle Oyunlarla, Van Bosporus tot Hollands Diep, Een muzikale tulpenroute’ 75 people performed dance and music from Anatolia and Trace, as well as from the Netherlands. A yearly end-of-season day is organized called: ‘Just Eglence’ in which course works are performed in order to draw in a wider audience.


Rotterdam - Anatolisch Cultureel Centrum


Stichting Anadolu

Stichting Anadolu was founded in 1989 in order to enable youth from various cultural backgrounds to follow traditional Turkish folk dance lessons. For Stichting Anadolu there are 3 main aims:

1. Supporting of Turkish folk dance organizations,

2. To stimulate youth to use their spare time for the activities mentioned above,

3. To stimulate youth with various cultural backgrounds to share cultural values amongst themselves.

Professional teachers, folk dances from various regions are taught: Halay (South-East Turkey), Horon (Black Sea), Silifke (Mediterenean), Zeybek (West Turkey) and KafKas (Caucasus).

Stichting Sahne

According to their website, Stichting Sahne also set up folkdance groups.


‘t Munt theater te Weert

In 2009 ‘t Munt theater te Weert organized the ‘Weerter multie cultuureel Festival’ which is organized every year.


Stichting Kleurrijke Dans

Buurthuis de Kolk in Zaandam offers Turkish folk dance lessons. Hasan Sozer, a computer science (faculty EWI) doctoral student, joined the workshop Turkish dance which was organized by ‘Stichting Kleurrijke Dans’. Now he has a small dance group together with some other doctoral students: Hasan Sozer, Erhan Bat, Ozlem Incel and Aysegul Erman Turkse. They dance everyday stories, for instance the rural traditions of Adiyamen region, which has a dance named after it. During the ‘Let's GO Festival’ Sozer danced this rhythmic dance with his Turkish student-colleagues. Stichting Kleurrijke Dans lend them the costumes. By means of dance Sozer can show aspects, of the culture from his country of origin, to his fellow-students and professors at University of Twente. Internationalization not only starts with sending Dutch students abroad but also with foreign students in the Netherlands. One aim of TUSAT (Turkish Student Association at Twente), is to organize events which allow us to introduce colleagues and friends to our cultural heritage.


De Stilte

De Stilte is the only professional dance company in the Southern region of The Netherlands, which focuses entirely on developing and producing performances for children. Established in 1990, De Stilte has thus far launched 24 performances and 12 special projects. On a yearly basis De Stilte’s educational activities (i.e. workshops, introductions and lessons) add up to 500. Based in Breda, De Stilte has two studios, one of which fully equipped as a theatre. In 2008 alone 184 shows were realized, with a total of 26,581 young visitors. Education is an integrated part of De Stilte’s approach. Besides its professional activities, De Stilte also offers amateur dance courses for children (4+) and adults.

In May 2008 De Stilte danced two performances of MADCAP in the Little Ladies Little Gentlemen Festival, organized by Turkish State Theatres in Ankara and in June 2008 the performance was selected for the Ordu Children's Festival, organized by TOBAV. TOBAV is the employee’s organization of Turkish State Theatres. De Stilte performed twice in the festival.

In May 2009 the production the Carton Dwellers was also selected for the Little Ladies Litlle Gentlemen Festival. During the festival De Stilte and dramaturg Servet Aybar made arrangements for an internship. Servet Aybar worked as a dramaturg and did research for Turkish State Theatres during her internship at De Stilte. She gave the artistic director of De Stilte, Jack Timmermans advice during the production process of the performance Walking the Line.

In March 2010, during the 5th International Eskişehir Children and Youth Theatre Festival, De Stilte performed MADCAP. In June 2010 the company performed MADCAP in Instanbul, the Cultural Capital of Europe 2010.


Het Wilde Westen

Het Wilde Westen offered a workshops Turkish folk dance taught by Ersin Seyhan (of OZAN folk dance group) to Montessorischool ‘Oog in Al’ in Utrecht. www.hetwildewesten.nl



Turkish dances were performed at the opening of ANKA at the location of Het Derde Erf ANKA, a day-centre for Turkish elderly at the farm complex Het Derde Erf in Soest, near Amersfoort. The people behind ANKA are Özlen Tanyel-Akkoyun and Yasemin Asçi, both with roots in Turkey, born and raised in the Netherlands, and with years of experience in welfare work (education, mental health care and care for the mentally handicapped). In Twente mr. Bingol is planning to set up a multicultural care-farm. He aims to set up a farm in Enschede where the farming experience is central the well being of people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Under the aging population of immigrants of the 60’s and 70’s there is a desire to go back to rural roots and experiences.


Stichting Terpsichoré

‘AVC Centrum voor Werelddans’ is the location of dance organization ‘Stichting Terpsichoré’

Two people at Terpsichoré focus on Turkey: Bianca de Jong and Turgay Onatli.  Bianca de Jong teaches folk dance since 1977. In the period 1983-1990 she often visited Turkey to study folklore there. She co-founded and danced in the Turkish group Tozak from 1987-1991. Bianca also organizes trips to Bulgaria and Turkey. Turgay Onatli was born in Istanbul and started to dance folk dances when he was 8 years old. In 1984 he moved to the Netherlands to work as dance teacher, choreographer and musician. He is self-taught and teaches Turkish dance throughout the Netherlands. Turgay plays zurna and davul and occasionally uses these instruments in his classes. Turgay’s dance program is called ‘Dansen uit Anatoliė’. In 2008 Turgay Onatli gave a workshop Turkish dance in zalencentrum tripodia to Volksdansgroep Katwijk.




Internationale dans Eindhoven

Internationale dans Eindhoven (IDE) offers Turkish dance lessons. Wim van Vliet, teaches international dance.

Internationaal Danstheater

In 2010 The Internationaal Danstheater (IDT) produced dance show ‘Stampende stilte’ which had love as the topic and aimed to express emotions. It was a very varied show with a lot of contrasts and dances from Eastern Europe, Turkey and Southern-Europe and Latin America as well as disco beats and the Lindy Hop, an Afro-American dance style from the 20’s.

In 2009 The Internationaal Danstheater produced ‘Als je haar maar goed zit’. The story is about urban life. Everyone comes from elsewhere and has their own story to tell. Mostafa is the Maroccan owner of the hairdresser's saloon Proud2B. Different types from different cultural backgrounds look into the mirrors of the hairdresser's saloon. The choreographies are based on Uzbek, Georgian, Kurdish, Albanian, Cuban, Turkish and Russian dances. One of the dancers is Kadri Sonuk from Turkey who studied dance and flute at the Conservatory of the University of Istanbul.            

In de summer of 2008 Kadri danced a solo at the Internationaal Danstheater which was transmitted by Turkish State TV channel TRT 1. Over 9 million people viewed the program.


Salsa Utrecht Events

Salsa Utrecht Events organizes Turkish circle dances in Utrecht.


Fire of Anatolia

In 2008 Fire of Anatolia (a kind of Turkish River Dance) performed its show Evolution in the Netherlands in: Roosendaal, Tilburg, the Chassé Theater in Breda, and De Maagd in Bergen op Zoom. In the Turkish dance group one Dutch girl performed as well: Chantal Vijsma from Brabant.



TOON gives Turkish folk dance classes on Wednesday nights in Gorinchem


De Stadsschouwburg Utrecht

Utrecht wants to become European Cultural Capital in 2018. De Stadsschouwburg Utrecht has been programming Turkish shows for years now and uses Istanbul 2010 to present artists from this city. Well known choreographer Ahmet Demirbağ worked with professional dancers of the Internationaal Danstheater and a large group of amateur dancers from Utrecht and The Hague the show ‘Buluşma’. Ahmet Demirbağ (1957) has been dancing since he was six years old. His choreographies have been performed all over the world and won numerous prizes. He made programs before with the Internationaal Danstheater in the Netherlands. The repertoire of the Internationaal Danstheater is always based on material from other cultures.

Buluşma is a co-production of Zimihc huis voor amateurkunst, Culturalis Theater Den Haag, the Internationaal Danstheater and Stadsschouwburg Utrecht


Nice in Overvecht

‘Nice in Overvecht’ teaches children to dance and combines this with home-work/study assistance. Nice in Overvecht was founded in 2005 in Utrecht and started with 10 kids, now there are 80 and there is a waiting list. Every Sunday, children between 7 -15 years old, mostly from Overvecht, dance Turkish music. There is also an older group of youth up to 25 years old.

Gülay Alp explained that Nice was founded because there was very little to do for youth in Overvecht and most activities, like dance lessons, were too expensive for their parents. Nice stands for Nederlandse InterCulturele Educatie, and means future in Turkish. Youth comes to Nice to dance but at Nice they are also motivated to study. The home-work/study assistance is given by a volunteer. They had an intern from Turkey for three months who tried to find out what motivated kids to learn.

The 25 youth from 18 till 25 years old are also asked to volunteer at other activities. Their dance group Hilal performs regularly. Whilst the youngest kids follow dance classes their mothers can follow workshops. The topics of those workshops come from the women themselves. Now the mothers also have a dance group.


Anadolunun Sesi

Anadolunun Sesi means the voice of Anatolia and is the name of a Turkish music and folk dance group that was founded in 1980 and which has 60 members. They train at the Leeuwenkuil in Deventer every Sunday. In 2010 they performed their yearly show at the Hof van Colmschate. Previously there was a group of Dutch women who danced with them but at the moment the group consists only of Turkish dancers, but they hope they will also attract other backgrounds. The 32 dancers aged 7-26 are directed by dance teacher Sah Akkus who is known nationally in the Netherlands. They do not perform in original costumes since these are very expensive, but they make sure everyone dances in the same outfit so that there is a unity in presentation. The 12 saz players are taught by Gökmen Gogan.

Annie M.G. Schmidtschool

Dance show performed by students of public elementary school


Aya Sofia Mosque in Delfshaven

End 2005 a group Turkish girls started a dance group at the Aya Sofia Mosque in Delfshaven. De group of the ‘Stichting Vrouw(en) en Beweging Delfshaven’ consists of Turkish girls between 13 and 16 years old. Communities in Beweging(CiB), a initiative of Nederlands Instituut voor Sport en Bewegen, asked the girls which kind of exercise they wanted. After some trial lessons the girls decided to choose modern Turkish folk dance. In 2006 they performed in the recreational space of the mosque in front of family and friends. The older girls start to help their younger sisters who also want to dance. The mothers also decided to form a folk dance group. For these women the mosque is a safe place to exercise and they get support from their families and the mosque community. The women perform regularly at weddings and henna parties. The women and girls now also attend cultural activities outside the mosque. The girl group that started it all now dances at a local community center which has a dance teacher.


Comité Souk

At the SOUK 2010 some Turkish dances were performed. SOUK 2010 is organized by het comité Souk, a collaboration of various volunteers from Leiden-Noord and organizations Libertas Leiden (Buurtcentrum De Kooi), Muziekcentrum Leiden-Noord, Baptistengemeente Leiden and the Turkse Culturele Vereniging.

De Souk is financially supported by stichting Libertas Leiden, Fonds 1818, Leiden municipality and cooperative building societies Portaal and De Sleutels.


Diana Meijer Showbizz Academy

In 2009 seven women of the ShowBizz preparatory training 1 and 2 from the Diana Meijer Showbizz Academy performed a Turkish dance at a business party in Sportcity in Den Haag.


Stichting buurtwerk Alexander

In 2009 Stichting buurtwerk Alexander in Rotterdam organized ‘Internationale Kinderfeest’ at LCC Zevenkamp.

Stichting buurtwerk Alexander organized workshops and presentations in Capoeira, Mexicans dance, Turkish dance, and Bollywood dance.


Stichting Kunstzinnige Vorming Rotterdam

In 2007 the St. Kunstzinnige Vorming Rotterdam asked Le Grand Cru to organize a fusion project between Turkish dance and modern dance with youth of the Rotterdams Alevitisch Centrum. The Alevi community wanted to open up to modern forms of dance by combining those with their own folk dances. The use of the mapping method resulted in many ideas and styles that were performed at a culturally diverse SKVR evening.


Rasa in Utrecht In February 2010 Ziya Azazi danced and whirled at Rasa in Utrecht. He combines the age old Sufi ritual with modern dance and in Rasa he used cloth as prop with his dance. Ziya Azazi started his career at the State theatre in Istanbul. He developed his style in Vienna especially influences he took from modern dance. He went on to Stuttgart and Genève where he collaborated with Sebastian Prantl and Jan Fabre. It was possible to follow workshops by Ziya Azazi.

Before the break there was an electronic remix of Uwe Felche and after the break musician Mercan Dede performed his contemporary interpretation of Sufi music.


‘t Huis aan de Vecht

In 2009, ‘t Huis aan de Vecht (zorgcentrum van Axion Continu in Overvecht-Noord) organized a ‘Turkey day'. 50 inhabitants of Huis aan de Vecht watched a film and afterwards discussed about an immigrant couple that migrated to the Netherlands from Turkey in the 60s/70s. Ries Andriaansen was the moderator. Two young Turkish women, Ulfet Dürmus, advisory officer of the GG&GD, and Gülseren Urker from the neighborhood council, told the group their own experiences with their aging parents in the Netherlands. The elderly that were present recognized their stories but still were not sure whether they wanted their elderly home to become more culturally diverse. In the afternoon 250 visitors were present, this audience was half Turkish and half Dutch. Two children’s groups of NICE performed. Afterwards stands with Turkish food and handicrafts were opened.

Source: Nieuwsbrief netwerk 55+ Overvecht mei 2009



TOON has started a dance department. On Wednesday night there are Turkish dance classes for 12+ in Gorinchem taught by Carmen de Haan.

Stichting Aslan muziek centrum in Amsterdam

In July 2010 Barbaros Tartan, head of the dance department of Stichting Aslan muziek centrum in Amsterdam, in collaboration with Secret Garden presents fashion line ‘Oriendam’ for belly dance. Barbaros Tartan worked in Turkey as a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher and fashion designer. He is expert in folk dance costumes from various countries. He won several prices and researched old and traditional dances. In the Netherlands he is responsible for projects at ‘dans in school’. He teaches at various music and dance schools in the Netherlands.

Location: Escape Studio Rembrandtplein Amsterdam


Culturalis Turkse Volksdans Dag In June 2009 Culturalis organized the ‘Turkse Volksdans Dag’ for folk dance enthusiasts from the Hague region. Ahmet Demirbag, a professional dancer from Istanbul, will come to the Hague for this day to give workshops at zalencentrum Opera in the Hague. During the Turkse Volksdans Dag there are several performances by folk dance groups from The Hague and by the people that attended the workshops.

Mosque at the Moriaanseweg West in Hellevoetsluis

In 2010 a Turkish folk dance group performed at the Turkish Bazaar at the Mosque at the Moriaanseweg West in Hellevoetsluis.



In 2006 Miriban van Es performed a Turkish dance at the second Lumièreparkfestival at the Lumièrepark in Almere-Stad (Filmwijk).


Werelds Delfshaven

In 2009 the first Werelds Delfshaven festival was organized in the Delfshaven district of Rotterdam. The festival focused on self-organized groups from the district which are involved in creative or artistic activities. Amongst a lot of other activities, dance, music, poetry, food and workshops there was one Turkish dance performance by Atilgan.


Alfa - college, afdeling toerisme

In 2008 students of Alfa-college, department of tourism organized a few workshops Turkish folk dance in the library of Veendam.

Plaza Futura in Eindhoven In March 2010 there was a performance by Handtheater at Plaza Futura in Eindhoven. By means of dance, gestures, sign language, spoken Dutch and Turkish texts Handtheater made a show. Handtheater is the only theatre group from and for the community of deaf people in the Netherlands, a minority with its own language (sign language) and culture. The shows of Handtheater are played in regular theatres for both hearing and hearing impaired audiences. Handtheater is financially supported 2009 - 2012 by Dienst Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling of Amsterdam municipality and in 2009 received a grant from Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie.

Lombok Kermes

In the agenda of May 2009 of Lombok district in Utrecht during the ‘Lombok Kermes’ there was a Turkish dance performance. www.lombox.nl/agenda/09/0905.html


De Maat in KUNSTenTaal festival

In August 2010 two day festival ‘De Maat in KUNSTenTaal’ was organized for the first time by Barticamp, Eibergen library and Muziekschool De Triangel. Language and Art are the focus of this festival, which also organizes poetry workshops. Kids from elementary schools could enter the festival for free at Openluchttheater Eibergen. There was a workshop Dutch and Turkish dance for kids from group 1 & 2.


Africultuur Castricum

AfriCultuur (Ellen Hos), gives dance lessons in Castricum. AfriCultuur teaches African dance and percussion (djembé and drums), Brazilian dance, Capoeira and Turkish folk dance.



Dance teacher Sezi Yamaç founded SEZITA. SEZITA D.F.E. is based in Tilburg (The Netherlands), and in Istanbul (Turkey). Sezi Yamaç has begun her dancing career during her college years in Turkey. Among the dances she has learnt are salsa, tango, modern dance, jazz dance, ballet, and Latin ballroom. She's specialized in salsa dance and has taught and performed salsa in several countries in Europe including Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey and Bulgaria. Currently, she performs with the Pura Salsa show team in the Netherlands, and she teaches salsa, lady's styling and ZUMBA classes in Tilburg and Eindhoven (Netherlands). She's also one of the pioneers who started teaching Zumba in Turkey.



ZIMIHC is an organisation for supporting arts by amateurs in city and province of Utrecht, The Netherlands. After the earthquake that took place in Turkey 1999 the county of Utrecht (the Netherlands) held close contacts with Izmit and Adapazari. A first Turkish-Dutch dance-exchange took place in 2008 under the name of ‘Görusmek’. Organization of this project was done by ZIMIHC. In February 2009 a presentation of the project was held at the conference Cultural Duets in The Netherlands. Discussions focussed on intercultural development in the dance of Turkish immigrants in The Netherlands

As a result of the success of Görusmek, more organizatiotions in the Netherlands worked together inthe follow-up project ‘Bulusma’ in 2010. Bulusma was one of the star-projects of Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie 2009-2010.

In the dance performance Bulusma, the Turkish word for renewed encounter, the relationship between tradition and renewal within Turkish folk dance was researched. Folk dance is linked to tradition in Turkey, but at the same time it develops with the current contemporary changes in society. The Turkish folk dance groups in the Netherlands focus mainly on dancing the traditional choreographies. Many dance teachers, often Dutch-Turkish, want to pass the Turkish heritage on to the next generation. At the same time their need and wish exists for developing new choreographies that reflect the current identity of the Dutch-Turkish people.

The project Bulusma is a partnership between choreographers from Turkey and dancers and teachers from the Netherlands. The Dutch institutions that organized Bulusma invited an artistic team, consisting of professor/teacher Ahmed Demirbag and four of his teachers from the Dance academy Istanbul, to produce and create a performance in the Netherlands. The performance was carried out 80 Dutch-Turkish amateur dancers, 20 Turkish students and 4 choreographers from Sakarya Universiteit, Adapazari together with professional dancers of The International Dancetheater (IDT). Within one week of daily rehearsals the show premiered in the City Theatre in Utrecht and Culturalis Theatre The Hague. The show lasted three hours, and contained existing choreographies with new elements added on. The famous Black Sea dances were used as starting-point.

In April 2010, the results of Bulusma were presented on the international Unesco conference of World dance in Istanbul by the Dutch project team of Bulusma.

The main objective of Görusmek and Bulusma was to give an impulse to the Turkish folk dance field. The following sub objectives contribute to the main objective;

1) Progressing artistic development within the circuit of Turkish-Dutch folk dance groups in The Netherlands

2) Stimulating artistic development of the teachers of the amateur groups

3) Continuing research on how to deal with tension between chorographical renewal and traditional culture

4) Cooperation between organisations through the Netherlands, so that knowledge from Bulusma passes on

5) Building an international Turkish network of Dance plus other art disciplines, with the focus on exchange projects between The Netherlands and Turkey (ZIMIHC visited Istanbul April 2010 to research and present Bulusma at the Unesco World Dance Congress).

6) Stimulating meetings between Turkish and Dutch children/young people. Mixing music & dance, plus other art disciplines

7) A new dance-education program is being developed in Istanbul to innovate Dutch-Turkish teachers

8) Producing a performance of quality for a general public

9) Advising Turkish artists on their skills to be able to continue with their art. Working on how to acquire rehearsal space, how to overcome competition and learn to work together.



Kunstfactor is the national organization for the development and promotion of the amateur arts in the Netherlands and as such it is an independent pivot between public authorities and the sector. Kunstfactor provides information and advice on amateur arts in general and it is actively involved in training and reflection, quality enhancement and the development of infrastructures in the arts sector. The organization’s other tasks are research, documentation, archiving, liaison and coordination. Kunstfactor is a key discussion partner for national and local authorities, policy makers and opinion makers and stimulates the debate on the significance of the amateur arts. Past project with Turkey include participation in documentations (short documentary, article) and presentation in conference ‘Cultural duets’ and the support of Görüşmek (see Zimihc).