Fellows performed with Fire of Anatolia in Istanbul
The Dance Project, Istanbul, Turkey
In the Dance Project, running from October till December 2009, 13 Fellows from all over the world stayed in Istanbul and Antalya to experience Turkish culture, history and traditions, but above all to live and breathe dance as part of Fire of Anatolia, one of the biggest dance groups in the world.
The Challenge that the Project Friend Mustafa Erdoğan, founder and General Art Director of Fire of Anatolia, gave the Fellows was a truly unique combination of cultural and artistic elements: experience Turkish culture, history and tradition through the medium of dance, and then perform on stage alongside the professional dancers of Fire of Anatolia. In other words, the Fellows learned to dance oriental and occidental, modern and traditional dances with one of the biggest dance groups in the world. They worked with the music and stage technicians and helped the costume designers to create the extravagant costumes for the show. Mustafa Erdoğan, coached and taught the Fellows a variety of dances, a fusion of folkloric and modern, and prepared them to become part of his amazing show. During the first two months the Fellows lived and worked in a private Dance Camp in Antalya before they completed their Challenge and performed on stage with Fire of Anatolia, in Turkey, Belgium and even Abu Dhabi.
The DreamLab and DreamPlan
Simultaneously with the exciting Challenge work the Fellows also worked on their individual DreamPlans, inspired and aided by the DreamLab workshops. These were led by such personalities as Dr. Ahmet K. Han, a “Young Leader of Europe” grant holder and leading young Turkish expert on international relations, who gave the “Leadership” session, and the “Passion” workshop presented by Nesteren Davutoğlu, one of Turkey's foremost women in the ad and communication industry.
The DreamPlan presentation on the last day of the Project was a truly inspiring event, and since then many Fellows have gone on to make a change in the world. For example:
Shubhangi from India: Her NGO Hamara Footpath provides an informal learning space for some of the over 100,000 children street children who live in the streets of Mumbai. Hamara Footpath has grown from a one-person informal initiative to a community group with ten volunteers offering evening classes, ranging from drawing, reading and math games, but also excursions and special workshops such as dance or theater. Along with the volunteers, Hamara Footpath now has a full-time employee to address the legal and medical needs of the children.
Hannah from the USA created EVET Arts, a new performing arts organization whose mission is to unite the world through physically innovative art. EVET means “Yes” in Turkish, and the organization strives to always say "Yes" to artistic innovation and cultural understanding. Hannah is preparing the inaugural production to be staged in Boston in Fall 2012.
Mustafa Erdoğan studied Philosophy and Public Management. Since when he was young, he was interested in Turkey’s local folkloric dances. He started several dance groups and won many national and international awards and competitions for his work. As the General Art Director at Fire of Anatolia, which has become one of the biggest and most famous dance groups in the world, he established the Aspendos Arena for cultural (dance) events and founded an Art Academy. As choreographer of the shows "Fire of Anatolia", "Fire of Anatolia - Evolution", "Dawool" and "Troy", he today performs all around the globe. His vision for Fire of Anatolia is “the meeting of civilizations. It is a dance portrait aiming to bring eastern and western cultures together while giving universal messages of peace.”