This week's theme of events for expats is based on "performance." Not only will there be a talk series focused on the subject, but there will also be fun parties and other events to check out or learn to become some of the city's most active foreign "performers."
Istanbul Lindy Hoppers 10th anniversary
Istanbul Lindy Hoppers are Turkey's first-ever swing dance community formed in 2007 by Banu Birecikligil, who went well out of her way to introduce this entertaining and beloved dance style to Turkey. While her and her partner Murat Öztürk began to teach an ever-growing community of Istanbulites how to dance the Lindy Hop, the first style of swing dancing to come out of Harlem in the 1920s, they also would bring teachers from all over the world and sought out musicians in Istanbul skilled in playing swing music.
Since then, the community has grown to nearly 500 people. They hold regular Lindy Hop, solo jazz and tap dance classes out of three different venues and for all levels, with the new season starting next month as well as hold two dance parties a week on the Asian and European sides of the city, respectively.
But this Sunday, the Istanbul Lindy Hoppers will be holding a very special party to celebrate their thriving community which has been going on strong for a decade. On Sunday, Nov. 26, the Istanbul Lindy Hoppers will be commemorating the 10th anniversary of its founding at IF Performance Hall Beşiktaş for a very special party open to all that will showcase the community's dancing skills accompanied by live musical performances by Bora Çeliker ve Orkestrası and international swing DJ Dr. A. The event will take place from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., and tickets are for sale on Biletix or will be available for TL 35 ($9) at the door.
Expat Spotlight #7 'Performance'
The innovative talk series Expat Spotlight, held by Yabangee, a website for foreigners in Turkey in collaboration with ATÖLYE, resumes this month on Monday, Nov. 27 with a focus on "Performance." This monthly series showcases the inspiring contributions being made by Istanbul's diverse international community to the city's cultural, sporting, humanitarian and business spheres and is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the expat experience in Istanbul as well as to meet and mingle with other foreign residents in the city.
This month the theme is "Performance" and as always there will be half a dozen or so expats sharing moving stories, reflecting on personal experiences and participating in a resourceful dialogue. In light of the theme of this particular Expat Spotlight, there will also be live performances on the night.
The guest speakers include Curtis Erhart, a California native who has been living in Turkey for a dozen years now, literally. However, he has been doing improv for 20 years now, getting started at the Improv Olympic Theater in Chicago. Having moved to Istanbul in 2005, he has been coaching and performing improvisation here for 10 years. In addition to performing with his outfit The Clap, you can see him directing and performing in musicals and pantos with Speech Bubbles, an international English-language theatrical group.
Also on the bill is Allen Hulsey, a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist hailing from New York, who has been performing rock and blues in Turkey, and at times even in Turkish, for years. A truly skilled musician and charismatic individual, his live performances are a must-see. His newest collaboration entitled "Monality" is with electronic music producer Erdem Tubalı, in which he combines Turkish instruments such as the bağlama, fretless guitar and kanun with synthesizers to produce a symbiosis of electronic dance music with blues and Turkish folk music.
In a very special treat, the MC for the night will be rising YouTube personality Joel Moriasi. A professional in the field of video production and an expat hailing from Kenya who has been in Istanbul for five years now, Joel's YouTube channel Türkiye'de Bir Afrikalı, quickly went viral after he shared his own cover of a popular track by Turkey's most famous rapper Ceza. In Türkiye'de Bir Afrikalı, Joel shares his thoughts and experiences as a young African in Turkey, which he impressively does in Turkish.
This event, however, will be taking place in English, and entrance is free and open to all with no need to RSVP. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m. and is held at ATÖLYE, a transdisciplinary innovation platform and performance venue, located in the historical Bomonti Beer Factory.
Yabangee, which is actually much more of a community these days than a website, continues to host a wide variety of interesting events geared toward Istanbul's foreign residents. In addition to the monthly Expat Spotlight series, Yabangee also hosts a Trivia Night, the next one of which will be their Weekend Edition, held this Saturday, Nov. 25 at #Bunk, a trendy top-floor terrace venue situated atop the 170-bed luxurious hostel of the same name in Harbiye. Entry is TL 10, there is a maximum of six members to a team, doors open at 7 p.m. and the quiz, which is held in English, will begin at 8 p.m.