REVIEW: KAYA @Brighton Festival

May 16, 2018

Ceyda Tanc Dance
KAYA at Brighton Festival

Ceyda Tanc is a Brighton-based choreographer creating dynamic dance influenced by her Turkish heritage, highlighting the intersection of modern Britain’s diverse cultures.

With a unique movement vocabulary fusing traditional Turkish folk dance with contemporary styles, Ceyda’s work utilizes the virtuoso movements of male Turkish dancers conveying striking shapes and an emotive and sensual energy.

The all female dance group challenged gender stereo styles with their use of bold masculine moves that only men use in Turkey and although the movements fluidly showed grace and power there seemed little narrative to them.

The piece was inspired by stories of refuges and migrants, but I found the lack of diversity in the dancers themselves a distraction. Almost as if it were some kind of meta comment. The lights, shade, costume and make up all blended into a soft neutrality which erased the dancers as individuals until once or twice they were boldly lit and thrust up into the light, before fading.

There was certainly a restless energy to the movements, a feeling of relentless moving on and some magical moments of dynamic repetitive sensual direction that transfixed us but it failed to gain traction in any real urgent sense.

This was a story of easy migration, or perhaps a story of migration told and retold so many times that it had become a softened legend, losing it’s hard edges and human pain. Like hearing your grandmother tell of her grandmothers journey here from a country no longer on the maps, distant and remote.

Kaya was engaging and interesting but I left feeling disconnected with the heart of this peace, although the audience showed their appreciation of the performance.

For full details of the event, click here: