October–December 2009

By the end of the Dance Project in Istanbul, thirteen Fellows from eleven countries had been immersed in Turkish history and culture; performed with a world-renowned dance ensemble on Turkey’s premiere late-night TV program and on stage in Brussels, Abu Dhabi, and Istanbul; and learned how to dance to their own rhythm. The Project Challenge was to learn and share dance traditions from different cultures and to perform with one of the largest dance ensembles in the world—Fire of Anatolia—as part of the show’s world tour. Working closely with the show’s general art director and choreographer Mustafa Erdoğan, the project’s Friend, the Fellows learned about the 5000 years of tradition and legends that inspired Fire of Anatolia’s spectacular production. Erdoğan worked with Fellows on costuming and production and provided mentorship. He also trained the Fellows, many of whom did not dance professionally, in the ancient Aspendos amphitheater, so they would be ready to take the stage and bring centuries of tradition to modern audiences.