Concept and Choreography: Aydin Teker

Created toghether with the dancers: Serap Meric, Ayse Orhon, Emre Olcay, Sebnem Yuksel

Sound Design: Manuel Mota, Margarida Garcia
Light Design: Jiv Wagner
Costumes: Aysegul Alev
Shoes: Ahmet Inceel

Premiered in November 18-19, 2005 at Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Co-produced by Bimeras (Istanbul), Alkantara (Lisbon) and spielzeiteuropa | Berliner Festspiele

“aKabi” is a work about the limits and possibilities created by the use of unconventional shoes. The result is an extremely rigorous performance on the very edge of balance, a piece of stunning sculptural beauty.

Some comments on “aKabi”:

“Aydin Teker’s work offers an extraordinary perceptual experience, presenting at the same time maximum purity and maximumdensity. In her choreographies, the body is never a given fact, but rather a dynamic system whose organic nature fuses with the meaning, creating a slippery surface, that baffles any attempt to inscribe it in stereotyped conceptual or theatrical constructs.

After her first appearance in Lisbon within the Alkantara Festival in 2004, we invited her again, this time for a month residency in July 2005. On this occasion she worked on her new piece aKabi. Besides the work on the choreography, this residency included experiences with sound and lighting. It was a great pleasure to host Ms Teker and her dancers whose artistic process is always an inexhaustible source of inspiration. We could witness them engaging intense research where the movement appears as a result of meticulous and yet surprising and innovative experimentations.

Ms Teker reintroduces the notion of “beauty” to the contemporary dance stage, giving it a whole new meaning, far from classical judgment of taste and harmony of figures. She redefines formalism, creating a work of rare sculptural beauty, where the body and time are shaped through discontinuous dynamics and disfigured flows. Teker stresses that her aesthetics is a direct outcome of the creative process.

In aKabi, Teker extends the body, making it a hybrid form through the use of platform shoes. More than just a simple exploration of the relation to a foreign object, this work emerges as a sensorial experience of a deformed, technological body on the border between human subject and artificial object. This organic machinery, pushed to the very edge of its material existence, offers sights of arresting expression, where flesh is immanent to the thought.

Aydin Teker affirmed herself as a unique figure in the Turkish contemporary dance scene, a true pioneer. She was not only one of the first to introduce this art form in her country, but who, after a long career of some decades, remains one of it’s most radical and vanguard creators. Her creativity and almost child-like curiosity makes her also stand out in a larger artistic context and every new work coming out of her and her dancers’ “laboratory” shows a profound research and is a cutting edge piece of art. Her creations are as challenging and harsh as they are rewarding and exciting.”

Mark Deputter, Bojana Bauer, Alkantara,  Lisbon

aKabi: the creation of a new human aesthetics

Aydin Teker, in aKabi, sets herself a challenge by putting her dancers into shoes of different height and form. While searching new possibilities of movement with and in spite of the shoes, there emerges a new body language out of contradictions like balance/off balance, and symmetry/asymmetry…

These shoes function as new prostheses of the body that re-define the existence of the bodies. The shoes become the most determining organs of the body, they even become autonomous creatures: they revolt against the whole body, they move and play independently in the air or on the floor, and they relentlessly pull themselves apart… The bodies, in return, struggle to adjust themselves in this fury, they walk on the limits, and in this process they take tremendous risks.

The emerging movement language calls for images in our memory: at times, we are in a grotesque world, in a parody of conventional movements; or we come across some weird species, even mythological figures. We are in a collection of strange places; may be in the Galapagos Island or somewhere in space… It is a fantasy world of the transformed, evolved species of the human kind.

The body becomes fragile. With each pair of shoes, the body is connected to a new environment of a different set of parameters of being in space. Dancers adapt to these new environments with constant adjustments and re-adjustments. The parameters also change within each connection. The environment is indefinite: the gravity is shifting; the floor disappears and then bumps back with all its heaviness…

We are faced with the imagery of the human condition: the struggle for existence and the capacity of transformation in a constant process of ‘becoming.’ As the choreographer denies secureness, walks on the edges, presents us with surprises, creates risks to become something else, she welcomes weird but beautiful forms emerging out of these new conditions, the piece triggers questions in the minds. These questions enable us to think on our ‘being’ (and ‘becoming’) in the world and especially on our relation to the earth.

These questions make allusions to the past: Andersen’s tale of “The Red Shoes” in which you have no control of your feet, and you cannot get rid of the shoes: you are controlled by them; or the experience of ‘point work’ in ballet in which you have to develop a specific technique. aKabi seems to shuffle our memory of the past within contemporary and futuristic issues. It suggests: would you and could you take risks to become some other body?

Aylin Kalem, journalist and art critic, Istanbul, 10.11.2005

for more reviews: akabi reviews

Past Performances
Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Berlin, 18 November 2005
Alkantara, Lisboa, 9-10 June 2006
Montpellier Danse, Montpellier, 4 July 2006
La Batie Festival de Geneve, Geneva, 6-7 September 2006
New Territories, Glasgow, 3 March 2007
Springdance Festival, Utrecht, 25-26 April 2007
iDANS Festival, Istanbul, 23-24 September 2007
0090 Kunstenfestival, Antwerp, 22 February 2008
National Museum of Singapore, Singapore, 14-15-16 March 2008
Festival TransAmeriques, Montreal, 29-30 May 2008
American Dance Festival, Durham, 24-25 June 2008
NRW International Dance Festival, Essen, 26 November 2008
C du Cirque? S de la Danse?, La Ferme du Buisson, Paris, 12-13 May 2012

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