Towards an expanded iDANS Festival!
iDANS International Contemporary Dance and Performance Festival had always an extensive program which was hardly fitting into a single month every year since 2007. Already in the fourth edition, iDANS was to break a record in Istanbul for the number of invited artists from abroad, with 41 projects of 154 artists from 21 countries. This year, the festival organizers of Bimeras decided to expand iDANS into the whole season until June, and present a program which will encompass not only diverse expressions of contemporary dance but will also feature some of the most cutting edge theater and trans-disciplinary live arts from the international scene. iDANS had been deemed worthy of funding by the Culture Program of the European Commission, becoming the first festival from Turkey to receive the prestigious support.
A contemporary Silk Road
Inspired by the historical caravan trail that had extended some 6500 km interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, West Asia with the Mediterranean and the European world as well as parts of North and East Africa, iDANS 06 will be framed around the metaphor of the Silk Road. As well as programming the work of established and upcoming artists from Europe and the Near East, the program will include contemporary performing arts from East and Southeast Asia, and will explore the migration, evolution and cross-pollination of diverse movement styles and expressions.
Before human species invented words for nations or passports, they were highly mobile and were engaged in trading across large distances spanning entire continents. The trade of material goods out of ecological, economical or spiritual needs facilitated the exchange and hybridization of ideologies, religions, beliefs, aesthetic know-how, movements and gestures. In its 6th edition iDANS brings together a diverse array of artistic approaches to highlight the transformations across time and space, in an attempt to trace out a contemporary silk road of dance.
Obviously, iDANS program’s exploration is not exhaustive of what’s out there in Asia. Yet, it marks for iDANS the beginning of a deeper research and investment in contemporary performing arts in and around Central, East, and South East Asia.
iDANS 06 activities and program are clustered under separate sections that take their name and characteristics from the goods traded along the Silk Road. These sub-headings will be: ‘Gemstones’, ‘Spices’, ‘Silk’, and ‘Paper’. ‘Gemstones’ features staged contemporary dance and theatre performances of some established artists such as Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (BE), Rimini Protokoll (DE), Saburo Teshigawara (JP). ‘Spices’ introduces some quite challenging, pungent and tasty works of numerous upcoming artists such as Aakash Odedra (UK), Geumhyung Jeong (KR), and heralds the news from the next generation of contemporary dance with P.A.R.T.S.’ recent graduates’ freshest works. ‘Silk’ features Tao Dance Theater from Beijing and Toshiki Okada from Tokyo. ‘Paper’ section encompasses the knowledge production and exchange projects of iDANS, namely, “Critical Endeavour Turkey 2012”, “Teaching the Teachers” as well as public lectures and talks.