18th Turkish Folk Dances Contest

18th Turkish Folk Dances Contest

Winner : Kutahya Central Community Education Center and Evening Art School Directorate
Runner-up : Yedirenk Folk Dances, Youth and Sports Club
Second Runner-up : Ege University Turkish Folk Dances Group
Fourth : Tuana Art, Youth and Sports Club / Burdur Region
Fifth : Hacettepe University Folk Dances Group Art and Youth Club Association / Cyprus Turkish Dances
Region Prizes : Bakirkoy Community Education Center Directorate / Uskup Region
Cankaya Municipality Hoy-Tur Folk Dances Group Youth and Sports Club / Agri Region
Denizli Municipality PAHOY Folk Dances Group / Denizli Region
Kadikoy Community Education Center and Evening Arts Schools Directorate / Fethiye Region
Tekirdag Municipality Youth and Sports Club / Tekirdag Region

The Folk Dances of Turkey Competition called for “All the colors of Turkey, come together”, and received 47 applications from 29 provinces.  Regional competitions were held in Hatay, Izmir, Istanbul, Ankara and Trabzon.

Held with the cooperation of the Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the finals and award ceremony of the 18th Turkish Folk Dances Competition took place on May 14, 2010 at the Sabanci University Performing Arts Center with the attendance of Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Guler Sabanci , General Manager Husnu Pacacioglu, Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Manager of Fine Arts Associate Professor Aysenur Islam and distinguished guests.

Regarded the most important event in the field of folk dances since 1994 when it was instated, the competition showcased a select variety of folk dances to guests during the finals.

Sponsored by the Sabanci Foundation, an institution that has been contributing to education and helping to preserve social and cultural values with countless programs and institutions all across Turkey, and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the competition of the five finalists was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all in attendance.  As in previous years, the best folk dance groups of Turkey were chosen in the final competition.

Speaking at the ceremony, Guler Sabanci said, “We have been supporting the young people’s great effort for 18 years to preserve our unmatched cultural heritage.  Folk dance is the epitome of our culture, shared feelings and thoughts.  Played side by side, hand in hand, these dances teach everyone to act in unity, to share, and to express themselves.”

Noting that they had redesigned the competition in cooperation with the Ministry two years ago to make it more encompassing,  said she was happy that the excitement of the competition was now felt all across Turkey with the motto, “All the colors of Turkey, come together!

Also speaking at the ceremony, General Manager of Fine Arts Associate Professor Aysenur Islam said that the competition was a source of pride for the foundation as well as the ministry, and added, “The General Directorate of Fine Arts is responsible for preserving and promoting Turkish culture, and for passing it on to future generations. We are delighted to be working for this purpose, and we have a great and dependable partner in doing so.  I would like to thank the  Sabanci Foundation for being partners in this endeavor for 17 years, and for many more years to come.”

The finals began with a show by last year’s winner, Izmir Cigli Public Education Center Group.  The special choreography for the night featured sSamanic dances and Mawlawi figures, which were received with great acclaim.  Following this special show, the five finalists performed their programs while jury members made assessments.

The surprise guest of the night was Sumer Ezgu, who swept the audience with his song “Anadolu’dan Geldik - We Came from Anatolia.”  All finalists accompanied the song and Ezgu himself gave brief performances of the dances just performed, bringing great fun and excitement to the night.

The Istanbul Modern Folk Music Ensemble gave concerts before and after the dance shows. Music during the ceremony was played by bağlama player Ahmet Koc and clarinetist Serkan Cagri.

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