Creative Residency with Rutkay Özpinar

Creative Residency with Rutkay Özpinar

03 Jul 2024, Posted by Studio in
July 25, 2024 @ 7:30 pm – August 9, 2024 @ 8:30 pm

In collaboration with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York and the Korzo Theater in the Hague, Battery Dance is commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the founding of New Amsterdam, present day New York City, through dance. 

Battery Dance welcomes choreographer Rutkay Özpinar for a creative residency resulting in a new work which will premiere at the Battery Dance Festival in August 2024. Inspired by the history of New Amsterdam and the Netherlands, the choreography will explore themes of migration, changing landscapes, and industrialization. Özpinar will draw from various sources including both Dutch and Native American histories and Battery Dance’s own history, having been founded on one of New Amsterdam’s earliest streets. Together with Battery Dance’s six dancers, each with a distinctive background, our different worlds will come together just as the Dutch settlers created a pluralistic society in New Amsterdam.

The premiere of Özpinar’s work at this year’s Festival will honor New Amsterdam’s history while celebrating the future of cultural exchange between the Netherlands and the United States. The work will premiere as part of a Dutch triple-bill on a special Festival day dedicated to NY400. Other works will include a new 10-minute solo by Özpinar that explores his unique movement vocabulary, and the international premiere of Özpinar’s “Something About Something”, an 18-minute work that includes Özpinar and two additional dancers who will travel from the Hague that explores the intangibility of dance. After the Festival, Battery Dance plans to debut the new work created on its Company at the Korzo Theatre in November 2024, marking Özpinar’s final showcase as the resident choreographer.

Özpinar’s new work on Battery Dance will feature music by Elisa Batti and costumes by Annemarije van Harten. 

Learn more about Rutkay Özpinar

Rutkay Özpinar (1991) is a Dutch/Turkish choreographer with an extensive background in dance, like contemporary dance, classical ballet, hip-hop and Turkish folk dance.

Rutkay started dancing hip-hop and breakdance at a very young age and not long after with classical ballet and contemporary dance by joining Boys Action (Program of Artez). He pursued his ambitions to become a professional dancer at Codarts, University for the Arts in Rotterdam and danced with dance companies such as De Dutch Junior Dance Division and Introdans. In 2014 Rutkay made his choreographic debut at the age of 23 at Korzo as the youngest choreographer in The Netherlands and is currently a house choreographer at Korzo. Over the years he created many works for Korzo and also dance companies such as Introdans and Conny Janssen Danst.

In 2019 Rutkay’s work took a huge spin when he did research on Turkish folk dance to let it influence his movement language. He focused on dance styles such as Turkish bellydance and Halay. As his work was progressing, Rutkay managed to let the different elements of contemporary dance, classical ballet, hip-hop and Turkish folk dance blend into his own authentic movement language.

What fascinates Rutkay is the cadence of the human body responding to music, the way the body starts moving according to it. It is a state of possession that liberates the soul and expresses itself by letting the body speak. He approaches his work with the subject of our existence that struggles to find rest in this world. Rutkay’s performances aim on taking the audience to another world, away from reality where everyone is part of his rhythm, let it be the dancers or the audience.

According to Rutkay the strength of dance lies in the magic the body creates which cannot be translated into words, nor rationalized. Dance has a language of its own. It speaks different volumes as it moves through space, playing with shapes, dynamics, and disrupting the ideology of aesthetics by approaching the movements naturally.

Rutkay created plenty of works for Korzo and collaborated regularly with Introdans. Throughout his career he has been nominated for awards such a Piket Kunstprijzen (2014), Dutch Dance Audience Prize in the category: Best dancer (2013 & 2014) and won the BNG Bank Awards in 2016 with his piece ‘Grip’ (Korzo production). In January 2023 his first full-length production ‘Work Line’ premiered and toured throughout The Netherlands followed by other two new works that toured in the same year. Rutkay’s ambition is to create works for many other dance companies in the future.

FUTURE 400: Wolves and Kings

Artistic Director Jonathan Hollander, Executive Director Emad Salem, and choreographer Rutkay Özpinar join podcast host Tracy Metz to discuss the collaboration. 

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