For four weeks, these artists have been working, living, and creating together. From Turkey, Armenia, and throughout the US, learn about the diverse voices contributing to this project:
Korhan Başaran (Istanbul, Turkey)
"A contemporary artist is responsible for being aware of what has been accomplished before, what is being experienced at the moment and therefore bringing out what the next step in the arts should be, which directly affects where humanity goes. The more inspiring you become as an artist, the more you will affect the peace and beauty humanity will be able to embrace." - from “Das Manifest”
Korhan is artistic director of the interdisciplinary Korhan Başaran Company. After a three-year period studying and creating in New York City, he returned to Istanbul and produced his first full work there in 2008. He has always been interested in bringing cultures together, creating unity from different human voices. He is proud to have premiered 2nd RAu with his international company, a draft work for the “Fearless” project - a response to an incident in the Gezi protests, slated to premiere in spring 2015.
David Dorfman (New York & Connecticut, USA)
David Dorfman, artistic director of DDD since 1985, has been professor of dance, and now chair, at Connecticut College since 2004. For nearly three decades David Dorfman Dance has toured the US and the world, bringing its stunning athleticism and unshakeable heart everywhere from the far corners of Europe to the barrios of South America. His works vary from the personal to the socially relevant, but Dorfman’s signature style is always present, complete with evocative text, dynamic movement, and pulsating undertones.
Evrim Akyay (Istanbul, Turkey)
Evrim started dancing in his secondary school years in traditional Turkish folk dance. In 2002, he met Korhan Başaran and began working on modern and contemporary techniques. He is also one of the founding members of the Zeynep Tanbay Dance Project. In 2008, Evrim received a scholarship from the Martha Graham School to attended the summer intensive program. He also danced with the Jerusalem Dance Theater in Tel Aviv for two seasons, directed by Lior Lev. Akyay has danced in almost all of Korhan Başaran’s work. Watch him in “Heva”, an earlier piece by Korhan.
Davit Grigoryan (Yerevan, Armenia)
Davit started dancing when he was five years old. In 2006, he entered Yerevan State Choreographic College in the Department of Armenian Dances and entered the Song and Dance State Ensemble. In 2009, he was drafted as a dancer into the army. After completing military service, he took part in So You Think You Can Dance 2: Armenia (WATCH THE VIDEO) and finished in the top 10. He now dances with Arina Araratyan’s Dance Theatre, at the Ararat Restaurant Complex in the Armenian National Show, and at the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
Raja Feather Kelly (Brooklyn, NY)
Raja is a company member with David Dorfman Dance as well as Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, zoe | juniper (SEA), RaceDance, Squint Productions (BE), and PEARSONWIDRIG Dance Theater. Kelly created the feath3r theory in 2009 to present his own performance projects, and holds a BA with honors in Dance and English from Connecticut College, where he first connected with David.
Some of our residency dancers hosted a workshop at the Turkish Cultural Center in Queens, NY on Tuesday.
Here, Evrim of Korhan Basaran Company and Armenian guest dancer Karen teach steps and speak about their collaboration on this new work.
Photos: Piotr Redlinski