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Bridging Rhythms

2.-7. december 2015

20 young musicians and dancers from Istanbul travelled to Cologne to meet and exchange with young german artists through dance and music during a one-week workshop. Joint musical pieces and choreographies were developed and a transcultural dialogue was encouraged.

Photo © Aileen Wessely

Orchestral and marching band sounds encounter electric beats, urban dance styles encounter traditional dance.

For 10 years now Barış İçin Müzik (“Music for Peace”) teaches children and youths coming from families with low income how to play musical instruments in Istanbul. By now there are 3 orchestras for youths, a bigband and a marching band. In early December Barış İçin Müzik accompanied 20 young musicians to Cologne: here they met youths from Germany. For many of them this was their first international exchange experience.

In the context of the week-long workshop “Bridging Rhythms” they met, exchanged through music and dance and experienced a change of perspective. Together they developed compositions, songs and choreographies. A transcultural dialogue was encouraged.

ROOTS & ROUTES Cologne e. V. was able to win Youngung Sebastian Kim a.k.a. Jaekwon (dance) and Johannes da-Costa (music) for the artistic team. Conductor Özmen Genç and big band coach Seçkin Özmutlu from Istanbul joined them.

The results were presented on December 7, 8pm at Arkadaş Theatre; the entrance was free. An exciting show with live music, electric beats and different styles of dancing was presented to the audience.


Bridging Rhythms was a project by German-Turkish Youthbridge in cooperation with ROOTS & ROUTES Cologne e. V. and Barış İçin Müzik Vakfı (Music for Peace Foundation).

The project was funded by funds from Auswärtiges Amt. Kindly supported by the Arkadaş Theatre, Weltempfänger Hostel and SKM / Lucky’s Haus.