By : Cidel Ormancı
How did you get into dancing?
I’ve always been interested in Folk Dance as a young guy.. I went to university in Cyprus, in my home country. While I was studying, I was selected as the President of Dance Union, dancing and choreographing various style of dance such as Latin, Modern and Musical styles. I went to an audition in Istanbul in 2001 to then what it was called Hürrem sultan Dance Company. I worked with them for a while. And then I went for another audition with Sultans of the Dance which is now run by Mustafa Erdogan. Combining Traditional Turkish Dance with Contemporary Modern Dance in a story line, I had my breakthrough and learnt most of my dance techniques with Sultans of Dance which currently influence my dance style.
What else have you been doing in Turkey?
While I was within Sultans of Dance company, I also trained with Tolgahan Dance School as a Latin and Ballroom performer and teacher and they became my agency in Turkey for some of my performances in various Turkish music video clips. Within Tolgahan School, I also trained singers and performers in their preparation for their concerts.
How long have you been performing in London?
When I moved to London in 2006, I started to dance and decided to focus only on Turkish style dancing rather than teaching and performing other styles that I knew . Then, by word of mouth, I start travelling within UK performing Turkish Belly Dancing . Then , my reputation took me to dance in international dance events and shows all around the world . I still have a lot going on in London like various shows and events but I also like travelling internationally.
You are busy with your Ask show right now. Could you tell us about it?
Yes , last October I did my Ask Show in London . It was well received by audience . It is a dance project that I give opportunities to local dancers combining semi-professional and professional performers to be part of the show with my principal dancers so you could say that as a director and choreographer, I travel alone to different countries and offer this opportunity to local dancers during my stay over a month in those places. I practice with them everyday to prepare for the show. It is a great challenge to get to know new places and new dancers in a short amount of time to train them. Sure, sometimes I go to places that I dont speak their language. Next year in May, this show will be in Japan and even though I will have a translator, inevitably there will be cultural differences.
…So what’s the show is about and is there Turkish music in it ?
Well, when I was writing the story for the show , I wanted to use as much different music and dance styles from Turkey to promote and introduce Turkish music and dance tradition to those all around the world as well as give the impression of the meaning of Turkish music in our via performing it. So roughly, I have 50 to 60 different Turkish music that are mixed by me over the years . Some of them are quite traditional like Ciftetelli , Romani Music and some from Sezen aksu ,Zeki Muren. I also really enjoy mixing in some tunes from famous Turkish series ” Muhtesem Yuzyil ” album as it fits my story very well .
I got two different love stories; one takes place in the every day setting of a Turkish Romany camp and focuses on passion, possession and the fight for a woman’s love. The other, in the time of the Ottoman Court, expresses the pain of love lost forever. There’s also some Sufi elements in the show. By using different music from Turkey , it’s easy to express the story line in the show. For example, I used traditional Ciftetelli Dance as court dance that Harem dancers perform to The Sultan in the story or another example, Roman music is played with a big drum ( davul) or darbuka in a fight scene in the show where two romany men fight for the woman they both love and desire .
This show supports the empowerment of women and men at different stages of their dance journey through the Turkish style dance.
What’s your future plans?
I really enjoy doing Theatrical Shows whether it is the same story or it is new one. Currently I am also working to release an instrumental dance and music CD which will include the music from the show as well as brand new tracks. We already made an agreement with a very famous Turkish singer too and once the CD is out, I will follow up with other famous singers from Turkey to promote Turkish art form with my music and dance .