Dancer teaches ballet to children

Dancer teaches ballet to children

Dancer teaches ballet to children

Turkish ballerina Merih Bahar Çimenciler, who has taken the stage as the prima ballerina in many important ballet productions in Turkey, is teaching ballet to children in remote places in Turkey.

Çimenciler, who spent 48 years in the ballet and arts scene, attended the Royal Ballet in London as a guest of the British Royal Ballet in her early years in the profession. She is one of the pioneers of ballet in Turkey.

Blending Turkish culture and Anatolian melodies with ballet choreographies, Çimenciler said, “I insist on introducing my essence.”

Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Çimenciler said that children should deal with art and encouraged to take part in these activities.

Çimenciler said that she visited the schools within the scope of the social responsibility project and introduced ballet to children. She said she tried to teach children especially in villages.

Stating that the “Feride” character in the “Çalıkuşu” ballet impressed her a lot, Çimenciler continued:

“I give great importance to social responsibility projects. Not just to please myself, to get applause or to meet with people, but my ideal is to give a message, to create idealism feelings amongst the children living the remote corners of Anatolia. Like the idealist Feride character in ‘Çalıkuşu.’ She goes to Zeyniler village to teach. I believe that each of village childrenin Anatolia can become a hero. With the income from ‘Çalıkuşu’ ballet, we build a dormitory for in Ardahan’s Çıldır district. We buy a wheelchair for children who need them. We got machines for the cardiology sections of children’s hospitals.”

Çimenciler said that her first ballet work, in which she used Turkish melodies, was “Harem” and this work was put on stage on the 700th anniversary of the founding of the Ottoman Empire in 1998.

“’Harem’ is still playing to a full house in Ankara. I explain my history here. I studied classical music. I used classical Turkish music here. It was the first job I did in Turkey and there has not been this type of music in ballet until then,” she said.

Çimenciler emphasized that she tried to use Turkish melodies in her works and added, “This is my origin, I can’t deny it. I want to introduce my origin. I am insisting on my own culture. Every work I choose is of my own culture.”

She said that she made a long-time study for the works she staged and prepared them in nearly three years.