The Bodrum Ballet Festival returns

After a one year hiatus, this year's festival promises to once again fill Bodrum with superb dance and music... Chris Drum Berkaya reports on the festival direct from Bodrum

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The Bodrum Ballet Festival returns


The 15th International Bodrum Ballet Festival is about to begin on the 24th July in Bodrum Castle with the richest programme for many years, and to pick up again from where the 2016 Festival was cancelled (it was to begin on 15th July) due to the traumatic events that day in Turkey.

The programme promises to fill Bodrum with superb dance and music, from Sirtaki to Tango, from Flamenco to Fado, Cha Cha and Mazurka, with the Bodrum audiences looking forward to the third return of their favourite act, the incredibly energetic seven-man act of flamenco artists Los Vivancos.


Between July 24 and August 12, the General Directorate of State Opera and Ballet has arranged the 15th International Bodrum Ballet Festival with the support of Muğla Metropolitan Municipality, and hosts the famous dance groups from Cuba, Spain, Kazakhistan and Russia as well as the superb State Opera and Ballet Companies of Ankara and Istanbul, in the historical atmosphere of Bodrum Castle North Moat open air theatre.


The 15th International Bodrum Ballet Festival begins with the energy of the Aegean when the Ankara State Opera and Ballet performs the "Zorba" ballet created by the famous Italian choreographer Lorca Massine, on Monday and Tuesday evenings, July 24 and 25.  Massine defines the famous story of Zorba as "a bridge between cultures" and so it will be in Bodrum to the magnificent music of Mikis Theodorakis from Nikos Kazantzakis’s literary masterpiece of the same name.

 Unforgettable energetic nights of Cuban music and dance await the Bodrum audiences Friday and Saturday, July 28-29, when they experience the "Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuban" group, founded by Cuban artist and choreographer Lizt Alfonso, who gives dance shows with habanera, danzon, jazz, tango and flamenco. From the legendary country of dance and music they offer dances, Afro-Cuban drumming and rituals, Spanish guitar rhythms, the Mediterranean's lively tones and the rich, energetic dance and music of Afro-American jazz.


Then there is the magic of classical ballet’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ to the music of Tchaikovsky to be enjoyed on Tuesday 1 August. The Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Company will perform the Russian ballet Sleeping Beauty, considered one of the most important works of ballet repertory in terms of technique and aesthetics, and adapted to the Turkish stage by director Ayüy Sunal Savaşkurt, and choreographer Marius Petipa of Istanbul Opera and Ballet.


International guests, the Astana Ballet Company from Kazakhstan will participate in the Festival on Friday evening, August 4. The two pieces by choreographer Ricardo Amarante, "Gaya" and "A Fuego Lento" will bring powerful dancing to the mythology of the birth of the loving, powerful, gentle and compassionate World Goddess Gaya (Gaia) in the forest; while in "A Fuego Lento" the audience will feel that the world is built on love.


The Svetlana Zakharov Solo Dance Project Amore, founded by Svetlana Zakharov, the world famous principal dancer of the famous Bolshoi Ballet of Russia, comes to the Bodrum stage in a once only performance on Monday August 7, after touring Modena, Parma, the Bolshoi Theatre, Ravenna, Genova and Monte-Carlo in 2016. "Amore" comes to the stage in three pieces. The first work is inspired by the tragic love story of Francesca and Paolo in Divine Comedy Dante's Divine Comedy, where choreographer Yuri Possokhov defines Francesca da Rimini as the most romantic role in world music history, based on Tchaikovsky's symphonic poem of the same name. The second work; "The Rain before It Falls" starts in a room, with a woman, two men, a love triangle, harmony, passion, defeat, loneliness ... before the rain.  Patric de Bana's choreography and Svetlana Zakharova group is said to create an extraordinary union of emotions and interpretations with a spectacular performance. The latest piece will again be a powerful interpretation of "Strokes through the Tail", by Irish choreographer Marguerite Donlon, to the music of Mozart.


The 15th International Bodrum Ballet Festival closes with a one-night performance by the world's fastest dancers, the brothers of "LOS VİVANCOS", the Spanish dance group, on Saturday, August 12. After at least two performances in earlier Bodrum Ballet Festivals, the brothers have achieved almost cult status in Bodrum where they are guaranteed to bring the audience to their feet in excited applause. The fastest masters of Zapateo will perform their own choreographed “Born to Dance" and will stamp a final close to perhaps the last and 15th International Bodrum Ballet Festival, as restoration projects mooted at the Bodrum Castle will remove the venue.


The 15th International Bodrum Ballet Festival Programme

Tuesday 1 AUGUST 21:45

İstanbul State Opera & Ballet Company - Uyuyan Güzel // The Sleeping Beauty. Classical Ballet (2 acts) Music: P. I. Tchaikovsky; Choreography: Marius Petipa; Director and Arrangement: Ayşem Sunal Savaşkurt

Friday 4 AUGUST 21:45

Astana Ballet Company of Kazakhistan- Gaya & Tango Ateşi // Gaia & a Fuego Lento. Ballet (2 pieces). Music: Hekel Tavares, Isaac Albeniz, Lalo Schifrin, Astor Piazzolla, Carlos Gardel, Sayo Kosugi Choreography: Ricardo Amarante

Monday 7 AUGUST 21:45

Svetlana Zakharova Solo Project, Russia - Ballet- Amore. (3 pieces) Francesca da Rimini: Choreography:Yuri Possokhov /The Rain Before it Falls: Choreography: Patrick De Bana/ Strokes Through the Tail: Choreography: Marguerite Donlon

Saturday 12 AUGUST 21:45

Los Vivancos, Spain - Born to Dance. Flamenco 

Festival Information Line/ Danışma Hattı: (0312) 229 67 38

Ticket Sales info/ Bilet Danışma Hatları: (0544) 316 90 78 - (0544) 316 90 79

Children under 8 are requested not to come. No child prices. Performances do start on time; late arrivals will be held back until next break. NO refunds.

Tickets are available online: click here to visit website

Ticket stands also opened in Bodrum on Monday 10 July at:

Bodrum Castle Entrance: 10:00 - 00:00

Oasis AVM: 14:00 - 23:00

D-Marin Turgutreis: 14:30 - 23:30

Yalıkavak İskele Meydanı/ Square: 14:30 - 23:30

More information at

And active Facebook Page: Bodrum Ballet Festival Facebook page




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