#Dance

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‘A life without dancing is a not worth living’, so we’ve added many easy-to-learn and practice dance workshops with group activities in the festival programme.

Our many dance performers and workshop facilitators will be ready to help, guide and invite us into a series of performances and activities across the squares of the villages of Kastro, Gliki, Aya Teodoroi, Agridia and Shinudi.

JOIN US AT IMVROSFEST ON AUGUST 18-21 2022

European Folk Dances

Balfolk Dances

Balfolk is an umbrella term that brings together many dances from various countries and regions of Europe. First used as a term in the 70’s, it has spread to many countries of Europe with the increasing interest in these dances and music. Balfolk includes dances from many different countries and regions, and naturally creates a platform for cultural interactions. The variety of dances, from simple to difficult, from couple to group, from slow to fast, allows everyone to find a place for themselves. Balfolk dances have been practised in Istanbul since September 2015. Various workshops, dance nights and festivals are held by the organisation of the Balfolkist group.

Dance is a reflection of the culture and the country and Balfolk mirrors these cultural differences between countries. One of these differences can be observed in Italy. Italy is one of the countries where Balfolk culture is most prevalent, and events are held in public squares and parks under the name Mazurka Klandestina. Klandestina means “meeting and gathering in secret” in Italian. The squares that do and should belong to the public are used by the people in the best possible way.

During the festival, we will perform Balfolk dances in the squares of different villages of Imvros and make our presence felt.

You will have the opportunity to learn group dances at the Balfolk Dance workshops.

The workshop will be held by
Esra Hızır and Simge Demiral.

Credit: Songcatcher Ethnomusicology Channel

Dances from Imvros Island

There are certain dances that are frequently performed at weddings, gatherings and events on Imvros island. As a part of their culture, music and dance gather people together in agoras of the island. In the workshop, you will be able to learn the steps of the Karsilama and Sirtos dances and have the opportunity to perform learned dances with the people living on the island. 

The workshop will be held by
Esra Hızır and Simge Demiral.

Dances from Albania and Macedonia

Music and dance is an integral part of the culture in many Balkan countries. In the Balkan lands hosting different cultures, the variety of dances is a reflection of multiculturalism. Group and chain dances are common forms of dances in this region. In the workshop, you will have a chance to learn dances from Albania and Macedonia.

The workshop will be held by
Gianmarco Armellin

Dances from Greece

Although Sirtaki is one of the first dances that everyone knows when it comes to Greek dances, there are various dances with different music and movements in Greek culture. These dances reveal varieties in different islands and mainland regions, and public events that are full of music and dance create a platform to unify people. In the workshop, we will learn Karagouna and Ikariotikos dances from Greece.

The workshop will be held by
Gianmarco Armellin

Dance has been a nonverbal language based on movement as a means of communication, interaction and relationship.

Anatolian Folk Dances

Dances from Black Sea

In this workshop, you will experience basic Horon. In a short space of time you will learn to dance in 10 steps, preparing you to be able to join almost any Horon group dance. A pleasant workshop awaits you, accompanied by kemençe melodies played by our workshop facilitator.

The workshop will be held by
Batuhan Altay.

Dances from Bakûr

Govend is an umbrella term consisting of Kurdish halay forms and has spread over a wide geography. It means sharing and unity that takes place especially in weddings, festivals, harvest times and various other social events. In the workshop, you will be able to learn the Şemâme and Bablekan dances from the Van-Hakkari region.

The workshop will be held by
Berivan Avcı.

Credit: @govendlondon

Dances from Armenia

Armenian dances are generally performed in large groups by holding hands in a circle and performing the same movements together. The most common instruments for dance music are drums and the zurna. In the workshop, you will learn an Armenian dance called Tamzara. Tamzara is one of the most common folk dances of Armenians. This dance is generally performed at weddings and celebrations. There are also dances called Tamzara performed to the same melody by Azerbaijani, Greek and Assyrian peoples.

The workshop will be held by
Şeniz Öztorun Baş.

Folk dance is a special area that reflects, shows and includes the characteristics of societies and cultures, and brings people together by naturally creating a spirit of community.

Dance Facilitators

ESRA HIZIR

Esra learned Balfolk (European Folk Dances) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she went 8 years ago for Erasmus and participated in many workshops, festivals and events. As someone who noticed the therapeutic and transformative effect of dance on herself, after coming back to Turkey, she shared the dances she knew with people in Istanbul. And she started to experience this pleasure with the community. She still continues to organize various events and workshops under the Balfolkist community. She works as a therapist who believes in the power of dance, art and play. She will give Balfolk Dances and Island Dances workshops at the festival.

SİMGE DEMİRAL

Simge has been working as a freelance translator more than 7 years. She has experience in publishing, guidance in cultural and sports events and copywriting. After meeting with Balfolk Dances in a workshop, dance became an ambition and integral part of her life. While she has been translating wherever she could, she has started to dance wherever she could. Simge will give Balfolk Dances and Island Dances workshops with Esra Hızır at the festival.

GIANMARCO ARMELLIN

Gianmarco has gained experience in the field of dance by participating in festivals, events and concerts in many different countries, especially in Italy, for 20 years. As an enthusiastic folk dancer, he teaches dances through workshops in different countries. Also, he has been practicing and teaching Acroyoga for 10 years. As someone who cares about interdisciplinary interaction, he combines his passion for dance and contact improvisation with acroyoga. He will hold workshops on Balkan Dances and Greek Dances at the festival.

ŞENİZ ÖZTORUN BAŞ

Şeniz graduated from Bogazici University Psychological Counseling and Guidance. She continues working as a psychological counselor in a non-governmental organization. She took part as a dancer in the Folklore Dances Club (BÜFK) of the university for 4 years with great enthusiasm and pleasure during the years at the university. Apart from folk dances, she is also interested in different types of dances such as jazz funk and modern dance. She has previously holded various folk dance workshops for both children and adults. At the festival, she will hold the Armenian Dances workshop.

BATUHAN ALTAY

Although Batuhan spent most of his childhood away from his homeland, he tried to fulfill his longing for homeland in summer by dancing, playing his instruments in the plateaus, villages of Black Sea region. Plateau festivals are the place where he learned to dance Horon and experienced his culture immensely. He is an engineer who can't get enough of playing Horon with drums, zurna, tulum and kemençe; who loves his culture, admires nature, dedicates himself to art, and tries to feed his soul with kemençe. He will hold Black Sea Region Dances workshop at the festival.

BERİVAN AVCI

She is currently working as a translator and English teacher. She took folk dance training, and as she loves to establish close ties with different cultures as a consequence worked in various non-governmental organizations with the networks she gained from there. She will hold the Kurdish Dances workshop at the festival.

Get ready for a refreshing and inspiring experience at Imvros Island.