Alphabetical

A

B

C

D

E

F

H

İ

K

L

M

N

P

R

S

Ş

T

V

Y

Z

Chronological Order

Thematic order

Searching

Leyla Bedirhan (Leïla Bederkhan)

Leyla Bedirhan (Leïla Bederkhan)

First Kurdish modern dancer
"My dance and my dreams are of the East."

Date of Birth: 1903

Place of Birth: Istanbul

Date of Death: 26/12/1986 1986

Place of Death: Montauban, France

Burial Site: Paris

Topics

Gallery

Leyla Bedirhan (Leïla Bederkhan) Leyla Bedirhan (Leïla Bederkhan)

Field of Activity

Dance
"I am the first Kurd to dance at La Scala. I was asked, "Are you a woman from the East?" Especially with regard to Egypt, no country in which I spent time as a child or which I saw as a child, nor anything in those countries, is foreign to me. But if your question implies, 'Are you an odalisque?,' only my dance is Oriental, I am not myself Oriental."
Leyla Bedirhan

Leyla Bedirhan (or Leila Bederkhan, the name she preferred to use in Europe) was the first Kurdish woman to be a modern dancer. She performed in Europe and the United States with a modern dance program composed of works inspired by Assyrian and Egyptian dance styles. Intending to highlight the historical roots of her choreography, she put on her performances in authentic locations; and she produced a dance exhibition utilizing the Great Sphynx at Giza in Egypt as a background.

At La Scala (in Milan) on 23 January 1932, she danced the role of Belkis in Ottorino Respighi's ballet "Belkis, Regina di Saba" (Belkis, Queen of Sheba), a premiere with the choreography of Leonide Massine. Her fellow cast member, the ballet dancer David Lichine, was in the role of Salomon.

The ballet "Belkis, Queen of Sheba" was one of the most demanding works staged in the art world of the 1930s. Methods new for that time were implemented, such as the use of wind machines in technical staging, taking the trumpets out of the orchestra, which played backstage, and giving a place to instruments such as the sitar, not used up to that time in a Western classical music orchestra.

In documents related to the premieres at La Scala, found in the Munıcipal Archive in Milan, in the first critical reviews published in the press and later in the analyses of cultural historians, the view was expressed that the "Belkis, Queen of Sheba" ballet was the most important performance in the history of La Scala.
Fondo Respighi, Serie "Fotografie", n.95, Archivio di stato di Milano, , (12.4.2012).

Works Brought to the Stage by Leila Bederkhan:
(Selection)

Danse Druse
Estamp Persane
Hiéroglyphe
Dîlan (Danse Kurde)
Guerrier Kurde
El Tar / Tambourin
Fellahine

Awards

(No information available)

Memberships

(No information available)

Education

Leila Bederkhan studied ballet in Vienna.

Contributions to Society

  • A gala for the benefit of the victims of the Erzincan earthquake, March 16, 1940. (Source: Journal des Debats, March 14, 1940)
  • A gala for the benefit of the Muslim soldiers serving on the French Front, Odeon Theatre, April 30, 1940 (Source: Correspondance d'Orient Revue économique, politique et littéraire, no: 508, Mayıs 1940)

Family and Friends

Commemorative Projects

"Leila", dance theater

A production of Mesopotamia Dance Companie, with Yeşim Coşkun as Leyla Bedirhan.
Premiere November 2015, Moda Sahnesi, Istanbul
Music: Nurhak Kılagöz
Dance Ensemble: Ayhan Karaağaç, İsmet Köroğlu, Yeşim Coşkun, Serhat Kural
Choreography: Serhat Kural
Poster design: Metin Çelik
Lighting Designer: Ferhat Güneş
Costum for the role of Leyla Bedirhan: Roja Aslı Polat
Choreography: Serhat Kural
Duration of the performance: 40 minutes

Further Reading

Souces

Quoted Souces
Source for Visual Images

Acknowledgments

The Women's Museum Istanbul is grateful to Leyla Safiye for her support in producing the Leyla Bederkhan memorial page.


Translation into English: Margaret Fearey, Milton, Massachusetts, USA
©2012 Meral Akkent
euro.message madebycat ®
sinema filmleri sinema filmleri elyaf dolum aninda kredi porno izle esenyurt perde Esenler SGK