Dervish Dance Workshop | GROWASP with Ziya Azazi

WASP – Working Art Space and Production hosts on June 17&18  an workshop held by the Viennese dancer of turkish origin, Ziya Azazi, organized in colaboration with  The Austriac Cultural Forum of Bucharest, being part of the event ” The Turkish Austria”. In his performative and pedagogical practice, Ziya Azazi combines the experimentalism and the  repetition typical for dervish dance  with emotional and artistic elements of his own.

This Workshop suggests a space for the participants where they can challenge their limits through whirling, stimulate their ability for the thrift of bodily energy, and through these abilities reach their goal movement within their own genre, spending less energy, with a higher level of awareness.

Whirling is not the main objective of this workshop. The greater goal is to improve one’s physical, emotional and mental awareness through whirling and the exercises prior to that. It leads the participants to perceive and accept what is befalling throughout whirling, and reach an innovative movement by means of whirling.

The Workshop consists of the following steps:

Warm up: stretching and breathing in order to enhance concentration preparing the body and mind to gain strength to push mental and physical limits.

Awareness: This step includes floor work, body part and upside down exercises, basic acrobatics and improvisation on various levels. It aims to strengthen the awareness of senses and systems in preparation for meeting the unknown arrangements to be encountered while whirling.

Whirling: Further developments of physical, emotional and mental awareness are to be obtained in this step. Whirling first starts at the vertical level. At the further steps repetitive movements are to be experienced on both, vertical and horizontal levels. This step helps the participants to feel and record the conditions of their perception of space and body; thus the awareness improves. This is a step where the participants in various aspects confront conditions that are not usual or accustomed. By accepting the unknown, the knowledge concerning awareness and ability for the thrift of bodily energy will expand.


Wednesday,  june 17  | 19:00 – 23:00
Thursday, june 18  | 19:00 – 23:00 

Anyone who is willing can attend this workshop, in any age and with any professional experience, including professional dancers and choreographares, as well as people with no prior experience in the dance field. However, it is useful for the facilitator to know the name, birth date, profession and health conditions of the participants. He will pay individual attention to each person, considering their limits, knowledge and interests.

The access to the workshop is free. Registration by email to with the subject Dervish Dance Workshop. Please include all the information requiered and any other relevant detail.

The acces is limited!


Ziya Azazi was born in 1969 in Antakya (TR) and is based in Vienna since 1994.
From the late nineties up to the present, Ziya Azazi’s dance practices have been primarily based on experimental whirling and repetition, which reflect his personal, artistic, conceptual and motional analysis of traditional Sufi dance. He searches for the simultaneous representation of contradictory perceptions of physical awareness and a high state of ecstasy, experimenting the intensities of speed and tension made possible through whirling. He aims at transforming the usual whirling dervish image and the classical Sufi dance into a spectacular form, thus proposing possibilities for personal ritual, that do not rely on the boundaries of existing belief systems. His work searches for the Dervish at a high level of speed, tension and emotion, and creates a space for the viewer to encounter and experience these moods. Through his performances, Ziya Azazi seeks to represent the moment of realisation when the Dervish begins to enjoy his/her achievement through the joyful and ecstatic repetition of whirling: the looping and spinning which leads to trance.

Ziya originally studied mining engineering at Istanbul Technical University and practiced gymnastics. Between 1990 and 1994 he worked with the State Theatre of Istanbul where he created his first choreographic works. Between 1994 and 1998 he worked at Tanz Atelier Sebastian Prantl (TAW), Tanz*Hotel, and Willi Dorner besides few other companies. In 1999 he was awarded the danceWEB scholarship and received the honourable mention in the Ballett Magazine as “The Most Outstanding Dancer of the Year in Austria”.

Since 1999 he creates his own choreographical work, which tours worldwide, a.o.: “Dervish in Progress” (2004 / Barcelona), “’Azab” (2005 / São Paulo), “Dervish” (2006), “Icons” (2007 / Grenoble) in collaboration with Serge Adam (FR), the solo “Ember” (2010 / Valladolid). His latest work “Energy” has been premiered in 2012 at Théater Liberte in Toulon (FR).
Since 2004 worked with a.o. Jan Fabre/Troubleyn, Compagnie Thor, and collaborated with Cem Ertekin, Aydin Teker, Sebastian Prantl, Philippe Arlaud, Anne-Marie Gros, Ismael Ivo, Marcia Haydee, Yoshi Oida, Thierry Smits, Nona Ciobanu and Mehmet Balkan.

Beside the performances Ziya Azazi shared his experiences and knowledge with public in academic and non- academic settings, a.o. at the International Choreographic Training Programme titled Choreographic Collision (organised by Ismael Ivo, within the framework of Venice Dance Biennale, IT), at the Modern Dance Department of Istanbul Mimar Sinan University (TR), Carolyn Carlson Roubaix National Choreographic School (FR), Performance Making Programme at Goldsmiths University, London (UK), the Faculty of Arts at Klaipeda University and the dancers of Samsun & Antalya State Ballets (TR).