In-exhaustible Dance: iDANS | BiMERAS Presents its Special Projects in June
Organized by BiMERAS in Istanbul over the past six years, iDANS has become one of the most innovative and prestigious dance and contemporary performing arts festivals of Europe. In June, iDANS is hosting two special projects by two of the world’s most esteemed choreographers. These special projects also mark a new stage in the development of iDANS.
First of the special performances, Sona Veda (Addio alla Fine) [route change], is a site-specific project conceived by Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, directors of ICKamsterdam Choreographic Arts Center, for different port cities of the world. Istanbul version of the performance is created as an iDANS co-production in collaboration with the interdisciplinary art collective biriken, and the playwright Özen Yula. The project also features the journalist Bahar Çuhadar, the actors Zuhal Gencer Erkaya, Ayça Damgacı, Fırat Tanış and the countertenor Nuri Harun Ateş. The performance will take the audience on a boat trip full of surprises on June 15th, and 16th.
On June 22 and 23, Flemish choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker returns to the iDANS stage with her seminal work Rosas danst Rosas. Becoming a huge international success at its onset in 1983, the piece had marked a shift in the history of dance. It has become a contemporary classic and in the 30 years since its creation, it has been learned over and over by new generations of dancers. The work has been recently revived as part of the De Keersmaker’s Early Works.
Addio alla Fine – Where are we going?
Sona Veda (Addio alla Fine) [route change] is a site-specific performance project conceived by Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten for different port cities of the world. Inspired by Fellini’s film And the Ship Sails On (1983), the project questions the state affairs in life, art and politics. Istanbul version of the performance/event is created as an iDANS co-production in collaboration with the interdisciplinary art collective biriken, and the playwright Özen Yula. Actors Zuhal Gencer Erkaya, Ayça Damgacı, and the countertenor Nuri Harun Ateş are also part of the creation.
Sona Veda (Addio alla Fine) [route change] is a meditation on endings, and on endings as new beginnings. Departing from the idea of bringing the audience --living in a period marked by Maya calendar’s divination on the end of time, scenarios of approaching ecological and political disaster-- together on the Noah’s Ark, the performance takes the passengers on a carnivalesque journey of lights, sounds, dance and words. At the same time, it aims to question the function of culture and the arts in the midst of economic crisis, market conditions, and state politics. Throughout a journey full of surprises, artists involved in the project disclose their own farewells to endings and explore the place of the arts in contemporary reality.
Since 1995 choreographer/dancer Emio Greco and choreographer/director Pieter C. Scholten have worked together in their joint search for new dance forms. For both artists the search for a new dramaturgy of the body is an important motivating factor. The dance company they founded in 1996, Emio Greco | PC, has been awarded numerous national and international prizes including the Philip Morris Arts Prize (1999), Herald Angel Award (2001), the Dioraphte Dance price for strong international potential (2011) and various VSCD Dance Awards. In 2009 Greco and Scholten decided to gather all their activities and they gave rise to the International Choreographic Arts Centre Amsterdam (ICKamsterdam) that became a platform for contemporary dance.
Rosas danst Rosas – Consistency through change
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is back on the iDANS stage, this time with Rosas danst Rosas that will be presented for the first time in Turkey. The piece is considered as a turning point in the history of dance. After the international breakthrough of her 1982 creation Fase (presented at iDANS 05 in 2011), the choreographer had surprised audiences once more with her powerful composition. Becoming a huge international success at its onset in 1983, the production had also marked the start of the Rosas Company. It was performed countless times all over the world. It became a classic and in the 30 years since its creation it has been learned over and over by new groups of dancers.
Rosas danst Rosas had been the subject of a recent controversy regarding issues of author’s rights’ and choreographic plagiarism. Pop singer Beyoncé had “borrowed” parts of the piece in her video clip without permission. This controversy has marked interesting instance of the marriage of avant-garde art with popular culture.
From mid 1980s onwards, a unique artistic field that proposed a new understanding of choreography came into being. One of the most significant figures who had brought about this shift has been Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, both as a visionary and as an artist. De Keersmaker had submitted an application to the Flemish authorities in 1981 for the support of her Rosas project but had been rejected as some “idiosyncratic choreographer”. However, 20 years after this, King Albert II of Belgium conferred on her the title of “baroness”!
De Keersmaeker’s following words about Rosas danst Rosas seem to resonate with the journey of iDANS over the past six years: “what it means to dance together and how to deal with the difficulties posed by the high demands of performing” and “how to let go and be in control at the same time”.
After these special projects, iDANS is taking a “sabbatical” its festival format and will enter a new phase of restructuring.