Monday, February 21, 2011

An Interview with Korhan Basaran

I spoke with Turkish choreographer and dancer, Korhan Basaran to find out what made him switch to dancing and how he came to teach and work in New York.

How did you first get into dancing?

I started out as an actor and began dancing around twenty to aid my skills in acting. Within my first year of training, I was offered a contract from the State Ballet of Turkey. There were guests coming through from all over the world, which was an amazing opportunity for me to gain exposure. After two to three years dancing there I was offered a leading role by another company in Turkey. After that I began working with a modern company and started premiering some of my own works.

What brought you to New York?

I came to New York about two years ago to find and establish my own vocabulary, language, and movement in dance. Once I was here I received a scholarship from the Cunningham Studio and had the privilege of meeting the late Mr. Cunningham and performing with the Cunningham Repertory Understudy Group.

You work extensively as a choreographer and performer as well as a teacher, right?

I did the choreography for “Hisseli Harikalar Kumpanyasi,” the first ever Turkish musical production in New York, performed at the Beacon Theater in June 2009. My piece, “Seeking Beauty” premiered in November of that year. “K Search for L” premiered in June 2010 and most recently, “the Second Elegy” premiered on the 15th of December 2010 at the Cunningham studio.

What makes your class unique?

My class is a contemporary technique based on all of the styles I have experienced in my life as a dancer. It begins on the floor then leading into a floor combination to connect everything before standing up. The class then moves into your basic tendus and plies to warm-up, initially the footwork is basic, but gradually it becomes quite complex. The class is challenging, I am constantly trying to challenge my own instrument as well. The choreography we do during the second half of the class allows the dancers to taste my movement and style. I do not repeat combinations from class to class, but I do work with similar movements that I am drawn to.

If you could give other dancers one piece of advice?

It is extremely important to learn to keep your center strong. I am a tall dancer and I had to learn to strengthen my core to give myself the control required to dance. Once I did acquire this strength and control I was able to utilize speed much more effectively. Articulation of the entire body is also particularly important especially of the feet. These are two qualities a dancer needs to hone to take their dancing to a higher level.

Watch Korhan's Performance at the 2010 Peridance Faculty Showcase:

Korhan teaches contemporary at Peridance Capezio Center Mondays 1-2:30pm. For more information click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Korhan's are incredibly touching..He is an amazing dancer and choreographer..