Leaving Ordu

We are leaving in about 15 minutes for the Samsun airport to go to Istanbul.  The situation there is relatively quiet at the moment, but there is potential for it to get ugly, so we’re staying clear of Taksim Square.  I will continue to write about the Ordu experience, since there are many things I have missed, but this is end of the first chapter of the trip.  The festival exceeded my expectations by miles; it was an incredible time.


Last day of the festival.  Just finished breakfast,

Last day of the festival.  Just finished breakfast, heading into town in about an hour to have lunch and see a show made by a Spanish/Chilean collaboration.

I feel like this is the first significant amount of downtime I’ve had since arriving, so I’m going to muse a bit about interesting elements of the experience here that I missed or skimmed over.  Because I’m minus a camera, I’m going to steal other people’s Facebook photos.

First of all, I’ll try to give a brief “cast of characters” … it seems pretty silly now that the festival is coming to a close, but better late than never:


So, from left to right in this picture: Paulo, Ariel, Di, Ertunç, and me.  This is the cast plus Ertunç – who, if you didn’t guess from the name, is our Turkish guide – and minus Jeff, who was taking this picture.  It’s a diverse group: Paulo and Ariel are both fluent Spanish speakers, and both hit it off with the Venezuelan group, and Paulo, Jeff, and I all have varying levels of proficiency in French, which didn’t really matter since the French group speaks much better English than we speak French.  Ertunç was with us most of the time, and was hugely helpful, since there are very few English-speakers here (except for some of the festival personnel, many of whom live in Istanbul or Ankara).  Although this trip has been instructive about the power of gesture.  It’s amazing what some charades can accomplish.



These are two of “the Russians”.  Pictured are Olia and Nikolay, who did the costumes and sets, respectively.  The third Russian is Aleksey, our director, who I believe is pictured elsewhere on this blog.  They all left yesterday, so it feels like all the adults left.

Ah, time flies … the bus is almost here so I better run.  I’ll write more later.


Unrest in Turkey

I haven’t posted in a long time, so I have some catching up to do …

I went to the beach today and went for a swim in the Black Sea.  Unfortunately, my phone went for a swim as well, so now I have no more phone.  A minor tragedy in the grand scheme of things, but definitely an unfortunate turn of events.  So, I won’t be able to post any pictures until I buy a camera, which I will try to do tomorrow.

As you may have seen on the news, the political situation in Turkey has gotten pretty interesting over the last couple days.  Rather than trying to explain it myself, secondhand, I’ll see if I can do an interview with one of the festival people so they can give their take on it and post it here.  Needless to say, my upcoming trip to Istanbul should be pretty interesting.  There have been some large protests here in Ordu, but nothing that has gotten out of hand or resulted in any kind of police action.  Ordu seems to be a liberal, laid-back community, so everything is safe here.  At the moment, Istanbul is still safe outside of the square where the protest is happening, but we’ll see how things develop over the next few days.


Just saw a very moving dance piece from Venezuela. It might have been a little mature for children’s theater, but it was excellent. Reminded me of a lot of the principles we discussed in my movement classs at Rutgers.


Some things I missed

So, because I’ve had limited time and access to wifi, I missed a couple things…

After the parade, there was a huge celebration where the mayor of Ordu and other local politicians gave speeches, followed by dancing. First, a traditional Turkish band provided some music, then a DJ came in and provided some more familiar tunes (including, of course, gangam style).



I also missed posting about the Dutch show, which was more of an installation piece involving pretty cool costumes. Not very exciting, but aesthetically pleasing.