IDANS performances retrace the Silk Road

IDANS performances retrace the Silk Road

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
IDANS performances retrace the Silk Road

Inspired by the historical caravan trail that extended some 6,500 km interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East and West Asia , iDANS 06 is framed around the metaphor of Silk Road

The sixth iDANS International Contemporary Dance and Performance Festival will offer a different perspective on dance and performance, and also on art itself.

Both theater and performance artists will take part in the festival, which kicks off in October will continue until May 2013. The performances will be live and sometimes paired with film screenings, panels and photography exhibitions. Since 2007, iDANS has always had an extensive program that hardly fit into a single month. In its fourth year, iDANS broke a record in Istanbul for the number of invited artists from abroad, with 41 projects by 154 artists from 21 countries. This year, the festival organizers of Bimeras decided to expand iDANS through the whole season and present a program which will encompass not only diverse expressions of contemporary dance but will also feature some of the most cutting-edge theater and trans-disciplinary live performances from the international scene. iDANS was granted funding by the Culture Program of the European Commission, becoming the first festival from Turkey to receive support.

A contemporary Silk Road

Inspired by the historical caravan trail that extended some 6,500 km interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South and West Asia with the Mediterranean and the European world as well as parts of North and East Africa, iDANS 06 will be framed around the metaphor of the Silk Road. As well as programming the work of established and upcoming artists from Europe and the Middle East, the program will include contemporary performing arts from East and Southeast Asia, and will explore the migration, evolution and cross-pollination of diverse movement styles and expressions.

Before the human species invented words for nations or passports, they were highly mobile and were engaged in trading across large distances spanning entire continents. The trade of material goods out of ecological, economical or spiritual needs facilitated the exchange and hybridization of ideologies, religions, beliefs, aesthetic know-how, movements and gestures. In its 6th edition iDANS brings together a diverse array of artistic approaches to highlight the transformations across time and space, in an attempt to trace out a contemporary silk road of dance.

Obviously, the iDANS program’s exploration is not exhaustive of what is out there in Asia. Yet, it marks for iDANS the beginning of deeper research and investment in contemporary performing arts in and around Central, East, and Southeast Asia.

The iDANS 06 activities and program are clustered under separate sections that take their name and characteristics from the goods traded along the Silk Road. These subheadings will be: “Gemstones,” “Spices,” “Silk” and “Paper.” Gemstones features staged contemporary dance and theater performances by some established artists such as Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker of Belgium, the Rimini Protokoll troupe of Germany and Saburo Teshigawara of Japan. Spices introduces some quite challenging, pungent and tasty works by numerous upcoming artists such as Aakash Odedra of the U.K. and Geumhyung Jeong of Korea, and heralds the news from the next generation of contemporary dance with the freshest works by recent P.A.R.T.S. graduates. Silk features Tao Dance Theater from Beijing and Toshiki Okada from Tokyo. The Paper section encompasses the knowledge production and exchange projects of iDANS, namely, “Critical Endeavour Turkey 2012,” as well as public lectures and talks.