TO DANCE OR
Choreographer: Ayrin Ersöz
Dancer: Ayrin Ersöz and Canan Yücel Pekiçten
Light Designer: AYSE SEDEF AYTER
Visual Designer: GULFEM ERDOGAN
Length of performance: 45 minutes, no intermission
Can a story belonging to the storytelling(meddah) tradition of 17th century, a folk theatre indigenous to Istanbul and which tells stories taking place in Istanbul in a colloquial style, be adapted to the contemporary dance scene? Is it possible to connect the experiences of the protagonist of this story, a female Romani dancer, with the answer given to the question of what it is to be a dancer in Istanbul in the 21th century? Can there be a relationship between the story’s references pertaining to the division of urban space in accordance with the social class and gender in 17th century Istanbul and the truth behind the current formation of it? Setting forth from such questions, “To Dance Or…” is a performance tells the story of a female Romani dancer who lived in Istanbul in 17th century bringing together contemporary dance and storytelling (meddah). It is based on tracing the questions about “what of” physical space of dance and urban space of Istanbul, through the layers of meaning that are formed by the relationship between the performers’ movements and the images used with a three hundred-year old meddah story, the time of which is warped in a way to convey the thirty-day narrative time in thirty minutes as well as its being embodied three centuries later.
‘’To Dance or…’’ is premiered in 17th Istanbul Theatre Festival and later performed in Ballhaus Naunynstraße-Berlin, Off Europa Festival-Dresden and Leipzig and several stages in Istanbul.