Dervish in progress
Through “Dervish in Progress”, the young Turkish choreographer, Ziya Azazi, revisits Dervish whirling and surprises us with a fascinating contemporary ceremony. An extract of this piece of work celebrating the encounter of physical performance and mysticism is presented here. He refines an ancestral ritual, letting the dance transfigure the dancer's untouched body until it embraces a state of trance. The pure being reveals itself by exalting acceleration, tension and emotion.
Updating: September 2011
Ziya Azazi was born in 1969 in Antioch in Turkey. After finishing his mining engineering studies in Istanbul, he discovered the world of acrobatic gymnastics and then the world of dance. He began his first choreographic works in the State Theatre of Istanbul. In 1994, he settled in Vienna (Austria) where he participated in a myriad of festivals, working with different companies. He was granted a dance WEB Europe Scholarship with the title of “the most remarkable dancer of 1999” for his solo performance “Unterwegs Tabula Rasa” at the Sommertanzwochen Dance Festival in Vienna.
Between 2000 and 2002, Ziya Azazi was hired by the Vienna Opera, the Stuttgart Theaterhaus and the Geneva Grand Theatre. He partnered with a range of renowned international artists such as Mercan Dede, Ismael Ivo and Jan Fabre... For the last ten years, he has dedicated his work to traditional Soufi dance and has created several solo works inspired by this ritual dance, whilst seeking symbiosis with western contemporary dance. His work “Dervish” has been highly successful throughout the world. He created “Icons” (2007, for the 38e Rugissants Festival in Grenoble) in collaboration with the jazz trumpeter, Serge Adam; a piece of work that is part of his exploration into unprecedented forms and sounds. Ziya Azazi was recently invited as guest artist by the composer, Zad Moultaka, in residence at the Royaumont Foundation and participated in the creation of “Déplacé” (2008) during Royaumont's musical season, rerun in Antwerp, Creil and at the Aix Festival in July 2009. Ziya Azazi runs a wide variety of workshops, open to the public, where he explores western contemporary dance and Soufi ritual dance.
Ziya Azazi is constantly pursued by the same questions. He chose Dervish dance as his language and he travels the world questing his truth, in keeping with the mystics from Anatolia, even if he transgresses this ancestral tradition. Ziya Azazi's body expresses a clear message: the man quests the absolute, the truth, the meaning of existence. He has to cross several emotional steps: fear, confusion, ignorance… The path that Ziya Azazi has chosen is one of joy and recurrence, of whirling to the point of ecstasy. His body becomes a medium for exploring the inner world in a profoundly human solitude. As the artist says himself: “I forget myself and I become a mirror. I clear my mind, body and spirit and I cleanse myself.”
Last update : November 2010
Centre national de la danse, Réalisation
Since 2001, the National Center for Dance (CND) has been making recordings of its shows and educational programming and has created resources from these filmed performances (interviews, danced conferences, meetings with artists, demonstrations, major lessons, symposia specialized, thematic arrangements, etc.).
Dervish in progress
DJ Mercan Dede