Dancing Around The World - NairobiTuesday, October 27th, 2015
First of all I want to wish you a wonderful holiday season and as I write to you I am on a break from Dancing Around The World but still moving under beautiful sunsets in Thailand. As I say to many of my students "Never Miss A Chance To Dance."
In the beginning of my career as a choreographer/dancer I wanted to know everything about the art form so I spread my net wide and learned a variety of dance styles. Today dancing and the creation of dance are like meditation to me. In meditation, one comes not upon a AAknowingAA but upon a AAnot knowing an insight into the mystery of existence which is experienced rather than learned. In meditation, there is a warning that the very idea of knowledge gets in the way, since knowledge suggests to us a formula that can be grasped and written down and communicated directly to others. Many Zen masters, insist on keeping what they call a don'AAt knowAA mind. Once we think we AAknowAA, we close our minds to further possibilities, instead of waiting to see what experience brings. When I create, I let my body explore the mystery of being. I open myself to dance a dream and I strive to give form to what my spirit evokes in its meditation of movement.aAÂ¨aAÂ¨The core of my creative work is driven by my personal history of oppression and the search for freedom of expression. Ironically, and perhaps fortunately, my personal experiences were reflected in the societies I grew up in. Born in interesting times, the ideas of democracy, egalitarianism, and personal, social and national identity, were very real, visceral topics during my childhood. They were not givens, nor abstractions. They were struggles. One could feel the chill of the cold war in the concrete walls that surrounded the city of Berlin. And I, a young woman in a Turkish family, had other boundaries, - of what I was to be, and not be. And these boundaries, too, felt cold and indifferent to what I felt inside. The ideals of democracy, individual expression, freedom of expression and the oppression of the female voice and finding a way to liberate it, is what drew me to investigate the contemporary body through the study of modern dance. In the beginning, my work was personal. Now, I use my personal experience to empower others to find their own voices and creative expression.
In 2007, I also started focusing more on creating dances in public spaces because I feel that, as an artist interested in freedom of movement and expression, I need to make my art accessible to people and empower them to reimagine themselves and their environment. The goal with dances in Public Spaces is to explore and make people become aware - both intimately and broadly, of the interaction of people, movement and the environment through dance. Throughout this ongoing journey I want to understand what moves people, how people move and express themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually in diverse spaces, and to empower people by making them self aware of the impact their movement and body language has upon the social fabric. When people collaborate through movement improvisation in a space -, be it a street or park - their psychology changes. When people expressively move with intention, be it through dance or play, they mentally re-contextualize their relation to the space from being merely a place they are in, into a space they feel empowered to.
It'AAs been eight month on the road visiting 14 cities in 13 countries with Dancing Around The World. We just finished editing a short video of the experience in Nairobi that I would like to share with you here. Our Nairobi partners were wonderful: we were hosted by Choreographic Conversations at the Go Down Art Center, our host was also Wanny Angerer from Moving Cultures. During our residency we stayed in the beautiful home of Wanny and her family and we were supported by the German Embassy in Nairobi. The community in Nairobi was very inspiring and welcoming.
We started our tour on April 12th, 2015 and I have taught workshops in 13 cities and I performed in Medellin, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, Lima and Nairobi the solo What Dreams May Come. We have shared with you our experiences of Bogota, Medellin, Lima, Santiago, San Salvador, PyhÃÂ¤jÃÂ¤rvi, Tegucigalpa, Berlin, Istanbul , Bologna, Paris. And now happy to share with you Dancing Around The World - Nairobi. Enjoy!!!
I my next email I will share with you Tunis and than we will get back to Antananarivo. In January we will continue to India and than Japan :)
I feel so grateful to be able to travel around the world and share my passion of the art of moving and dancing and not just on site but also share these mini films. What an inspiring way to get intimately engaged into a culture through the moving arts. I am also very happy to share my passion through movement!!!
We are looking forward to sharing with you our Tunis experience next. It's been an inspiring and invigorating experience so far. It's a beautiful life lesson in cultural exchange around the world.
"If you can dream it you can do it." - Walt Disney
Thank you for your support and interest.
Choreographer and Artistic Director of NY2Dance