Firoza (UK): Digital Dervish + Flamenco Sonic
In-person and livestream tickets available
Market Hall Performance Centre (140 Charlotte Street, Peterborough)
September 9th @ 7:30 PM &
September 10th @ 1:00PM
Accessibility: This performance involves quickly moving lights and is not suitable for most photosensitive individuals.
Tickets are sold on a sliding PWYC scale from $5 to $25.
*Sliding scale pricing is offered to make our tickets accessible and affordable for everyone. All tickets are general admission.*
You can also reserve tickets by email or phone (no credit card required). Please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 705-745-1788.
Digital Dervish and Flamenco Sonic is a story about a Dervish who is in a dream and wakes up to birds and the sounds of nature- he begins to meditate and perform his Sema. He becomes enveloped in a storm of chaos as he whirls wildly and then collapses where he becomes dormant again. A Flamenco dancer notices and begins to move in similar patterns attempting to awaken him. They exchange their sounds and movements until they become intertwined in whirling. This is a story about landscape, earth, love and life that encompasses music, imagery and physical movement. The movements and gestures which are specific to these dance traditions are being highlighted and augmented with an original wearable device called the Soundrop.
The Soundrop is a small wearable body instrument that is attached to the body via a strap on the wrist or ankle and tracks the speed of movement that a performer initiates. It emits sounds when it is moved; the greater the velocity of movement, the greater the volume of the sound being emitted from the device. It can be turned on or off by pressing a small sensor in the center of the device. LED lights also light up when the sound is emitted so that the wearer and the audience can understand that the action has been performed. It also gently vibrates on the skin providing a tactile cue. The devices are programmed with one sound each and are designed to add sound layers to a separate pre-recorded music composition. The dancer uses the device as an extension of the body.
The Sema of the Dervish blurs the lines between dance and meditation while symbolically expressing the formation of the universe and man’s transference of love and respect to God. This ritual turning practice of the Mevlevi Sufi Order dates back to the 13th century to Muhammed Celaleddin better known as Mevlana. The duende is the expression of the soul for a Flamenco dancer- a flame that is provoked when in a state of ecstatic movement. Duende is not a tangible concept but one that is felt throughout the body and conveyed through passionate and striking movements.
Music Composer, Wearable Tech Designer and Choreographer
Hedy Hurban is a designer of costumes and composer of electronic/electroacoustic music. She showcased her collections at DSYN O4 (Delhi, India) and has designed the costumes for the Operas Lampedusa (Plymouth, UK) and The Mother of Fishes (Pittsburgh, USA). Hedy is music composer for several short films such as Dead Body, Grand Theatre and Picture Palace, Bees Mecanique, the TV episode Green and Blue and the feature films Salaat and Deccani Souls. Her interest in interlacing sonic and digital art with traditional folk performance practices led her to create a prototype body instrument inspired by the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey called Dervish Sound Dress (2018) that combines music, wearable body technology and live performance. She has a BFA in Visual Arts from York University (Toronto) and a ResM in Computer Music from the University of Plymouth and is currently associate lecturer in Digital Art and Technology where she is completing her PhD.
Filmmaker and Production Designer
Kaz Rahman has worked extensively as Visual Artist, Filmmaker and Academic with both commercial and public institutions, festivals and broadcasters over the last 20 years. His work has played in film festivals and venues such as Anthology Film Archives (New York City), National Film Board of Canada (Toronto), India Habitat Centre (New Delhi), Salar Jung Museum (Hyderabad), Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), The San Jose Museum of Art (California), Bogazici Film Festival (Istanbul), SUFICINE Festival (Konya) and broadcast on TV24 (Turkey) and has been featured in publications such as The Times of India, The Hindu, The New Indian Express (India), Daily Sabah and Star Gazette (Turkey).
As a visual artist he has had several solo exhibitions over the last two decades and as a filmmaker his work continues to be informed by the act of drawing in cinematic terms such as the use of compositional line and color alongside sculptural form and architectural space. Some of his recent work has combined the marks of drawing with filmmaking and made use of animated techniques. His solo painting exhibitions can be described as ‘Contemporary Islamic Painting’ where an emphasis on line, pattern and color intersect with the natural elements and a repetition and mix of cultural and pop iconography. In some early exhibitions such as Magic Carpet and Deccani Ark (both predominantly painting) he has used classical elements from Ottoman, Persian, Mughal and Deccani work mixed with new materials and ideas. Other shows such as Flood in the Sky (photography) and the more recent Cinematic Landscapes (painting) have intertwined with filmic approaches to shots and sequences.
Rahman is the writer/director and editor of two feature films (Salaat 2010 and Deccani Souls 2012) which borrow from documentary styles of filmmaking; these independently produced feature films can be described as ‘Art Cinema’ in the tradition of 1960’s European and 1990’s Iranian cinema while also exploring the thin line between fiction and documentary and themes such as time, memory and narrative dreams. He developed an original program on the Arts for the Turkish broadcaster TRT World (English) with different one-word themes each episode; Green and Blue (2015) is a pilot episode around the theme of poetry that combines high-profile interviews, live performances and original cinematic poems.
Rahman has a BFA in Visual Arts from York University (Toronto) and an MFA in Media Arts (writing/directing) from City College (CUNY), New York City and has taught at universities and colleges around the world including a wide variety of courses/modules (over 25 different ones) related to Directing, Storytelling, Video Production, Cinematography, Lighting, Editing, Contextual Studies, Art History and Cinema History. Since 2004 this includes the University of Hyderabad (India) in the Graduate Fine Arts Painting Dept., at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (USA) in the Faculty of Digital Filmmaking and Video Production, at Istanbul Sehir University (Turkey) in the Cinema Department and at Plymouth College of Art (UK) in the Film Department as well as the University of Plymouth (UK) in the Film and TV Department and the University of Kent (UK) in the Film Department. Rahman has been on numerous panels such as ‘Video Art and Technology’ (FIVAC Camaguey, Cuba 2011) and ‘Art as Dialog for a Global Society’ (Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh, USA 2012) and given numerous lectures on his films and visual art as well as broader topics such as ‘Islamic Art and Modernism’ (TEDx Talk Istanbul, Turkey 2014) and ‘Cinema and Islamophobia’ (Istanbul, Turkey 2021) and was recently part of the International Jury (led by Spanish Filmmaker Oliver Laxe) at the IMUFF Film Festival in Istanbul, Turkey (2021). He contributes essays on film, art and politics for cinema and current affairs publications.
Visual Effects Editor
Barış Çelik’s work in visual effects and as a colorist reflects his interest in graphic design and illustration. He has a BA in Cinema from Istanbul Sehir University and his work has been part of award-winning short films both within Turkey and internationally. He is one of the founding members of Istanbul International Experimental Film Festival and is currently lecturer in film editing/montage at Istanbul Medipol University. He is editor on Green and Blue and Rebeldes Baseball.
Carolina Loyola-Garcia is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker and performer. She works primarily in media arts, including video art and installation, video design for theater, documentary and digital photography. She produced and directed the documentary film Sobre las Olas: A story of Flamenco in the U.S. (2013), which offers a comprehensive view of the art of flamenco in the United States. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and is Professor of Media Arts at Robert Morris University. As a performer she has worked in theater productions, dance ensembles and as a flamenco artist. Loyola-Garcia has worked with Quantum Theatre in the productions of The Red Shoes (2007), Maria de Buenos Aires (2011), Ainadamar (2012), Mnemonic (2013), and Looking for Violeta (2019) as well as Attack Theater’s production of the Rube Goldberg Variations (2019). She is also lead dancer and singer with the ensemble Alba Flamenca and performs all through Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Western NY.
Mayez Rahman is a student at Lipson Co-operative Academy in Plymouth. He has lived in both Pittsburgh, USA and Istanbul, Turkey where he first encountered the traditions of the Whirling Dervishes. His interests include designing video games and all aspects of computer programming.
To learn more about Firoza, please visit https://www.firoza.co.uk/.