He performed on the world stage as a ballet dancer for many years and now represents his country, Turkey, abroad as a teacher. This artist is none other than Bahri Gürcan, a former head ballet dancer from the Ankara State Opera and Ballet (ADOB). After providing training to young ballerinas and ballets upon the invitation of François Mauduit, artistic director of La Junior Company – one of the important ballet companies of France – Gürcan is now training dancers in North Macedonia recently.
The artist told Anadolu Agency (AA) that he established a dancing school in Turkey's capital of Ankara in 2007 and discovered talented children. His decision to open a school came after dancing abroad for many years.
But Gürcan is now in North Macedonia to improve his international career as a dance teacher. "I came here to represent Turkish ballet. It is really nice that an artist from Turkish ballet comes and gives lessons to the State Ballet of North Macedonia. Previously, I gave lectures in France and in various other countries,'' he said.
Gürcan said he participated in a ballet competition in North Macedonia as a member of the jury on Nov. 20. There were 120 dancers from around the world competing, as well as two dancers from Turkey. The young Turkish ballet dancers won first and second place in the competition in Skopje.
Nilay Tahiroğlu placed first in the International Dance Competition titled Stage 2021. "Everything is going very well. We came here to compete. I came first. I am happy, it was a good competition,'' said Tahiroğlu who has been doing ballet for nine years.
Runner-up Beril Ada Özdemir said she has been interested in ballet for seven years. "It is very nice for me to come here. It is an honor for me to work with teacher Bahri. I am very happy to be awarded the second-place medal in this competition,'' she said.
Gürcan recently started to give "master class" lessons to North Macedonian State Ballet artists. Gürcan wishes that the training he will provide will be a good initiative for deeper cooperation between North Macedonia and Turkey in the arts. "North Macedonian artists can come to Turkey and dance and give lessons. In this way, artistic cooperation between the two countries may increase considerably."
Gürcan emphasized that Turkish ballet is trying to establish its own school and officials are engaged in very serious work. "I think that lessons by a dancer from the Turkish school will make a great contribution to North Macedonia," he said.
Gürcan explained that there are six opera houses and six dance companies in Turkey. "There are various conservatories and private schools. There is great interest in ballet in Turkey as well. After all, dance is an art form that is in the culture of all societies. Ballet sits at the top of this as it is a universal art. It contributes to the culture and music of our country. With serious studies in our country, the art of ballet has reached an important point. Now, it's time to open up to the world," he said.
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