July.29.2016 – Spotlight Series: Silk Road
On Sunday, the Silk Road festival returns to Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles in MacArthur Park for the fifth consecutive year to showcase the vast cultural riches of three diaspora communities. Did you know that Los Angeles—one of the world’s great crossroads—is home to people from over 180 countries, speaking 140 different languages? This wealth of ethnic diversity translates directly to the city’s cultural offerings, including food, art, theater, dance and music.
The upcoming Silk Road festival (not to be confused with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble) will feature the Los Angeles-based Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, Anatolia Turkish Folk Dance Group and Nupur Academy for Indian Classical Performing Arts. Get ready for a lively night with this behind-the-scenes look at a few dances from these groups’ respective homelands!
Turkish folk dances
Turkey—which borders three seas and connects Europe to Asia—boasts a myriad of folk dances that reflect the cultures and traditions of the country’s different regions. Often involving lines or circles of dancers who link their arms, kick their legs, wave handkerchiefs or click together wooden spoons, Turkish folk dances are also distinctive for their complex rhythms and colorful costumes. Traditional musical instruments such as the davul (large drum), zurna (pipe), kaval (shepherd’s pipe), sipsi (reed) and cigirtma (fife) accompany the dances, which typically evoke natural phenomena, rites of passage, people’s occupations or everyday tasks.
Master performer, Vedat Gursoylu, leads the Anatolia Turkish Folk Dance Group—a diverse ensemble dedicated to learning and sharing Turkish music and dance with the greater Los Angeles community. Gursoylu, who holds a degree in music and folk arts from Istanbul Technical University, offers instruction in Turkish folk dance, gypsy dance, musical instruments and more. In 2013, the Anatolia Turkish Folk Dance Group was awarded a certificate from the City of Los Angeles for its service to the community.