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01 juli 2020 | Nieuws

The Piket Art Prizes in times of corona (20): Rutkay Özpinar

Theatre makers, actors, visual artists, and dancers are much affected by government measures to keep the corona virus under control. What is the impact of these measures on the young former nominees and winners of the Piket Art Prizes? Part 20: Rutkay Özpinar.

Impact of the measures

Rutkay, 2014 nominee in the Dance category, saw every one of his projects crumble as a result of the corona measures. Both the solo he was working on in the context of his research into his own language of movement and the performance for Crosstown, which was scheduled to open in June, have been postponed until next season. “I was pretty upset. I really expected 2020 to be my year, but well, if it doesn’t happen now, it will happen later,” he says. Rutkay had been training at home instead of going to the studio. “When I recently started to rehearse in the studio again, I noticed I was a little less fit than I used to be. However, I’m surprised my body’s still able to continue.” In the meantime, he has performances to look forward to. Rutkay’s brief solo Speaking of Me will be presented during the performance Back to move you at the Korzo Theater in The Hague on 12 and 13 June.

So what now?

“There are a lot of unknowns, but I think studio’s will be full next year”, Rutkay says. “I have more time because of corona, I was actually working non-stop.” Rutkay had been researching Turkish folk dance, but over time reached out into other dance styles such as breakdance, modern dance and classical ballet. “I am devising a new language of movement that really comes from myself. I have been able to find my own voice. I shouldn’t forget I started out from hip-hop and breakdance. It’s a fine talent I don’t want to throw away.” In the studio Rutkay really lets go and works on a new solo where several dance styles merge. The result will be presented next season in Hither & Thither, a title that implies things could go anywhere. The solo will be premiered in May 2021. The idea is to let it grow and adapt it to the developing movement language as it continues to be performed.

Plans for the future

“I have been engaged by Korzo for the next four years”, Rutkay says, but since he has Turkish roots he also warms to the idea of some kind of cross-pollination between Istanbul and The Hague. “There’s so much dance talent in Istanbul, but as far as productions are concerned, for a city with some 16 million inhabitants little happens. I think this should be different and would like to contribute to it.” He also has plans for a production in the spring or summer of 2021.

Photo: Hessel Waalewijn