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Modern dance


Gonca Gümüşayak

Gonca Gümğşayak was born in Izmir in 1983 and is a dancer and choreographer. She graduated from the Middle East Technical University at the Sociology Department (2001-2005) and took lessons at the Student club Contemporary Dance Group ( ODTÜ Çağdaş Dans Topluluğu). Apart from studying in Turkey between 2005-2009 she also went to Holland to attain further education and experience. She studied at Artez Hogeschool voor de Kunstern: Dansacademie, at the Dance Maker/ Choreography Department in Arnhem between 2006-2008 and created 11 different pieces. She had chance to work with Michael Schmacher, David Zambrano, Angus Balbernie, Suzy Block, and Mary O’Donnell . She landed an apprenticeship with Anouk van Dijk D.C and Magpie Umbrella Dance and Music Company Amsterdam in June-August 2009. She participated in “Arts Management” certificate programs of Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University (AMSU) in 2005. In 2006 she did an internship in Felix Meritis AMSU Amsterdam, at the same time period he took part in “School for Development New Dance,”(SNDO) in de Theaterschool in Amsterdam. Gonca took part in several festivals and organizations in the Netherlands: 2007 Spring Dance Festival- Utrecht, 2007 Dans Dagen as volunteer, and publicity, 2006-2007 Uitmarkt - Amsterdam, participated IETM Utrecht 2005, she worked at the Julidans organization in 2009, staged as assistant of Olivier Dubois's "FAUNE(S)" piece. Now back in İstanbul, she continues her studies with a Masters degree at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts State University at the Modern Dance Department studying with Aydin Teker since January 2010. She continues her artistic works and projects with project group"Performance Planet".

Gonca directed the dance “Peter Pan and the Swan Catching the shadow...” which had its first staging in Arnhem in May 2008, and was performed in Istanbul in September 2008.

The concept is based on conflict between dream, imagination, and reality inside one person. She got inspiration from the Peter Pan from literature, ‘Pan’ from mythology, Jitterburg Perfume of Tom Robins and ‘Karagoz and Hacivat’, the traditional Turkish shadow game. The Project aims to create a new sense of modern fairy tale and fairy tale characters and is an experiment of costume, stage design, video art, shadows, silhouettes, and light in relation to movement.


Muziekgebouw aan het IJ

In October 2008 Zeynep Tanbay, the most important pioneer of modern dance in Turkey, performed her piece ‘4 Legs’ together with her group of 10 dancers at the Muziekgebouw aan het IJ. Whilst they were there, the American dancer Clifton Brown (1980) from New York gave a free dance workshop to the Turkish dancers in Amsterdam. Choreographer Zeynep Tanbay explains that almost none of the Turkish dancers has received a formal education as modern dancer: some dancers did Karate or belly-danced. Instead of perfect dancers with perfect bodies they are normal people who like dance as a means to express themselves. The piece ‘4 Legs’ consists of 16 separate pieces. The connecting theme is that mankind spends most of their lives on 4 legs: a chair, a table, a couch and in bed. In some pieces Tanbay comments in a symbolic way on problems in Turkey. When writing the piece ‘chair’ she thought about torture. And in the piece ‘prison’ for two men, the topic is not only life in prison but also about the life of gay men in Turkey.


Atiye Deniz

On June 2010 Atiye Deniz performs ‘Atiye Live in concert’ her first concert in the Netherlands at Superstars edition11 with a life band and dancers from Istanbul. Atiye Deniz has a Turkish father and a Dutch mother, but she was born in Bremen, Germany. Atiye was educated in Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, France and the United States. In the Netherlands and Germany she took dance education in Jazz, Hip Hop and Modern dance. Atiye is the choreographer of her own clips. Her first big hit was the track ‘Don’t Think’ which was viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube and which caused her to win the 2006 Kral TV Music Award for best new comer. In 2009 her new album ‘Atiye’ was released in which she sings some songs with Teoman.


Springdance Festival

Aydin Teker (1952) got her Bachelor Fine Arts in America. In 1992 she founded Aydin Teker Dance Company and she teaches at the modern dance department of the Conservatory in Istanbul. Aydin showed her choreography ‘aKabi’ at the Springdance Festival in Utrecht. In her show she created a fusion of visual art and dance, something that Springdance became more and more interested in. With her work Aydin pioneered the fusion between dance and visual art long before Springdance did. For one hour the performers of aKabi danced on shoes with 40 cm high plateau soles which each weigh 3 kilo. The movements are mostly slow and alienating, sometimes comical. Because of many black-outs during the performance the choreography looks like photos by Francis Muybridge, every step or movement freezes for a moment. After seeing a performance of a dancer with just one shoe years ago, Aydin became interested in the imbalance of the body in movement caused by that one shoe. After a period of experimentation her choreography aKabi was finished in 2005. Huis a/d Werf, Utrecht.


Istanbul Dance Theater Company

Founders and creative team of the Istanbul Dance Theater Company: Geyvan McMillen, Dilara Akay, Sernaz Demirel and Tan Temel, work in an interdisciplinary collaborative way with artists from outside the company. They concentrate on choreography and video installation. In addition, IDT+ is developing a dance technique in which it is focusing on two different kinetic ideas from Turkish culture, creating similar experiences in the technique and creative process.

The first idea is the “Sufi Whirling”; that is a physically active meditation, using a forceless, spiritual and meditative turning technique still practiced by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order. By asking the question “Who am I?” and by practicing ‘Whirling Dervishes’ participants try to find their own body language and endless movement possibilities only belonging to themselves in their deep consciousness. Besides the meditative dimension of the whirling there is a physical reality in it which the heart is in the center of existence and everything else is spinning around it. By using this information each dancer is invited to devise a unique movement series which is useful as a tool for solving the problem of which move to make next during a creative process.

Then, the second kinetic idea is the ‘Turkish Oil Wrestling’. In our working process we are discovering the strength, force and speed of Turkish Oil Wrestling and exerce to apply this into a partnering technique.

Jack Gallagher director of Bodies Anonymous (NL) and Tan Temel, artistic director of Istanbul Dance Theater IDT+ (which performed under the name CRR Dance Theatre during 2003-2005) respectively, have initiated a long term performance project entitled ‘BeHold’. This multi-facetted project encompasses research, web publishing, a contemporary dance performance, a documentary film and a book. The project started in Istanbul in December 2008 and ends in the summer of 2012 with a weeklong multi- disciplinary occupation in the Bellevue Theater in Amsterdam and the Garaj Theater Istanbul. The dance performance, website, film and book will be constructed and performed by interdisciplinary artists from both Istanbul Dance Theater-Turkey and Bodies Anonymous- The Netherlands. BeHold will be a manifestation and exposition of the spiritual conflicts between religious faiths, social disciplines and inherited artistic traditions. BeHold centers itself on the representation of the body in contemporary public spaces, the historic quest for the sacred and the distribution of power.

Choreography: Jack Gallgher (BA), Tan Temel (IDT+)

Dancers: Jack Gallagher (NL), Marjolein Vogels (NL), Tan Temel (TR), Sernaz Demirel (TR)

Music: Baris Erturk (TR), Michael Vatcher (NL)

3 D Design and Costume: Dilara Akay, Hayakaartı (TR)

Video Installation: Bernie van Velzen (NL), Geyvan McMillen (TR)

Light Design: Ayse Ayter (TR)

Sponsored by Hayakaarti, Dutch Consulate General Istanbul, Istanbul 2010 Europian Cultural Capital Office, RPM Radar


Zeynep Ozkaya & Rokus de Groot

Zeynep is a filmmaker and makes films about the multicultural issues in the Netherlands. With her latest documentary Leyla and Mencun Abroad she won The 2010 Dokumentarist New Talent Award. Professor Rokus de Groot is a composer and musicologist at the University of Amsterdam. Together they worked on the concept of Leyla and Mecnun opera which has been composed by De Groot and Zeynep created ideas for dance performance in this play. The composition is based on the passionate love story of Leyla and Mecnun.This opera premiered on November 2006 in Amsterdam at the Royal Tropical Institute, by the Nieuw Ensemble, VocalLAB and guest dancers and musicians (breakdance oriental dance, qanun, ‘ud). This performance was realised by dancers, musicians, and singers from Turkey, Europe, Lebanon/Ecuador. Among the musicians was Çaner Altinbas from Istanbul.