Promising Turkish Folk Dance Choreographer's Students Debut in Durham, North Carolina

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'Bluestar Dance Project' Delighted the Audience and Received a Standing Ovation for an Outstanding Show.

Zeki Maviyildiz, the amazing folk dance performer, instructor and choreographer from Turkey took his ‘Bluestar Dance Project’ ( ) students to perform at Club Boulevard School of Durham, NC on May 3, 2005. A fast paced traditional Turkish dance from the city of Kars was performed by 25 Club Boulevard students. The dance, together with the music, dramatizes the story of an 18th century Turkish folk hero from the North Eastern part of Turkey. Maviyildiz also accompanied the dancers in this performance by playing a traditional version of the accordion.

As a folk dance performer, Maviyildiz has traveled throughout the world to over 25 countries as part of the Turkish National Folk Dance Troupe. Since deciding to pursue his studies and passion for the development of Turkish performing arts in the US, Zeki has been showcasing his talents in Washington DC at the Assembly of Turkish American Turkish Associations 2004 Convention, at various events held by American Turkish Associations of North Carolina and Washington DC, as well as the International Festivals of Raleigh and Charlotte.

Currently, Zeki dances at the Broadway dance project ( in Raleigh and performs regularly with them. He is also attending Carlotta Santana's Spanish Flamenco dance lessons ( in Durham and is a part of the Duke University Ballroom Dance Team. On April 1 and 3, 2005, he danced in "The Merry Widow" (, performance by the Opera Company of North Carolina. He also plays music with Raleigh-based International Music performing groups named "Zindagi" and "Mora."

Zeki's passion for his art and community volunteerism has been exemplary. He recently held folk dance workshops at Asheville, NC and Harrisburg, PA as well as the Triangle area in North Carolina. He performs regularly with the local Turkish, Polish, Bulgarian and Romanian folklore troupes. "I am proud to be able to support young dance enthusiasts and hope that my teachings of artistic Turkish folk dances will help promote and expose Turkish culture not only in North Carolina, but throughout the US." Maviyildiz said.

Bluestar Dance Project is a collaborative choreography with the Club Boulevard School, bringing cultural elements from the East and the West on the same platform. Zeki started working with his American students earlier in the year. "You can perceive and feel the rich culture of Anatolia in every dance figure [of Bluestar Dance Group]. It is a fusion of two cultures." Zeki stated.

Maviyildiz first came to Folkmoot USA in Waynesville, NC, where he performed there with a dance troupe from Turkey. He is currently enrolled at Wake Tech Community College studying English on an educational scholarship from the American Turkish Association of North Carolina ( ) with generous support from members of the Raleigh and Chapel Hill International Folk Dance Groups.

Maviyildiz will be dancing in the 'Peace in the World Initiative' in Detroit in May 14 and 15, 2005.

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Burak Y Fenercioglu

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