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CATI (Contemporary Dance Artists Association)

Çatı Dans Stüdyosu, İstiklal Caddesi, Sadri Alışık Sokak, No:33 B Blok Daire:4
Istanbul (Beyoğlu)
Phone: 00905353244006

ÇATI Contemporary Dance Artists Association

Was founded in order to support and encourage creative efforts within the field of contemporary dance. Its goal is to cater to dancers, choreographers, set/sound/light/costume designers, theoreticians, critics, technicians and audiences. It aims to enable creative collaboration between these artistic elements, realizing this in sync with other related organizations and/or venues.

From TAL to ÇATI

'TAL Dans' was founded in 1996 by Mustafa Kaplan as an experimental movement and dance research group under the Theater Research Laboratory of the City Theater of Istanbul Municipality. It consisted of a core group of 7 persons ( Ayşe Orhon , Aydın Silier, Filiz Sızanlı, Mustafa Kaplan , Ömer Uysal, Özlem Alkış, Talin Büyükkürk ci yan) coming from very different backgrounds and from various disciplines who had demonstrated committed and genuine interest in dance and movement related explorations who wanted to keep this interest alive in a non-commercial and alternative setting.

The explorations that were carried on with the material (in terms of providing space, technicians, etc) and intellectual support of Aylan&Beklan Algan thrived further as members of the group traveled abroad for educational and/or professional purposes and came back to share their new insights and knowledge with the community. This enrichment required that the group would have an independent space of its own, so, TAL Dans moved to its current home at Istiklal Avenue , Sadri Alışık Street , No 33 in September 2001.

In this new space, explorations were run collectively as the rent for this new studio was also collectively shared. Some members of the initiative transmitted their knowledge they had gained from their education abroad to a community of interested people from different walks of life in the form of workshops, classes and in less formal gatherings.

This studio space was thus the first independent venue that worked on contemporary dance, performance art, and contact improvization, and it was the only one as such without a �name� and without and commerical interest. Yet, the studio needed first and foremost the heatlhy conditions to be able to work in - such as warmth in winter, isolation for the roof, etc. The roof was literally leaking in the first fall showers of its establishment, and Aydin Teker , an internationally reknown Turkish choreographer and professor of modern dance at Mimar Sinan University proposed the idea of a benefit night of performances in order to have the roof of the studio repaired. This benefit night was organized with French Cultural Center as the host in the November of 2002, and thus, ÇATI, which means 'roof' in Turkish became the name of this new studio. It was also conceptually and metaphorically suitable for the projects it hosted and has been willing to support ever since.

Since then, Çatı Dance Studio started to be used by both amateur and professional dancers, and with new participants, there had been novel issues raised as to conjure up a framework for the identity, and aesthetic vision of the members of the studio. Although there were many different voices as to what this ÇATI exactly was, and what it was not, what was commonly held was that it was neither an educational nor a commerical space.

With the increasing communication network and international projects and collaborations through friends and members of the studio who have been involved in dance, and with the increasing interest in dance in general public, ÇATI sought a different organizational framework: It was decided that, it would be more feasible to form an association ( dernek ) that could establish a bridge between contemporary dance and civil society, so, ÇATI Contemporary Dance Artists Association was founded in the winter of 2004.


1. O ffering studio and rehearsal space to those concerned with contemporary dance and provide a platform for public debate about related issues.

2. Providing a venue of collaboration for scholars and artists of different disciplines.

3. Affirming the rich historical and cultural heritage of the local context of Istanbul , it aims to facilitate discussions and projects concerning this heritage and its implications for contemporary dance in Turkey , and to carry these discussions and their creative results beyond major urban centers of Istanbul and Ankara .

4. Supporting and establishing exchange projects realized at and by CATI with international artists and sharing them with international audiences through being a node of an international network of organizations, projects.

5. Realizing these goals through an accessible method that would not be exclusive of the general public.