Born in 1969 in Antioch (Turkey), Ziya Azazi finished his engineering studies in Istanbul where he discovered the world of acrobatic gymnastics and dance. From 1990 he began his first choreographic works at the Istanbul State Theater. In 1994 he moved to Vienna, Austria and participated in many festivals working with different companies.In 1999, he won a European DanceWEB Scholarship at the Sommertanzwochen Dance Festival in Vienna, with the jury honoring him as the most outstanding dancer of the year for his solo performance Unterwegs Tabula Rasa. Between 2000 and 2002 Ziya Azazi was hired by the Vienna State Opera, the Stuttgart Theaterhaus and the Grand Theater of Geneva. Ziya Azazi has since toured all over the world, in Asia, the United States, Latin America, the Maghreb and the Middle East. He collaborated with renowned dancers and choreographers like Jan Fabre, Cem Ertekin Aydin Teker, Sebastian Prantl, Philippe Arlaud, Anne-Marie Gros, Ismael Ivo, Marcia Haydee, Yoshi Oida, Thierry Smits
For ten years he has devoted himself to traditional Sufi dance and has created several solo works inspired by this ritual dance, such as Dervish in Progress or ‘Azab seeking a synthesis with Western contemporary dance. His solo Dervish, which is an integration of these two solos, is very successful around the world. In collaboration with the trumpeter Serge Adam, he created Icons in November 2007 at the festival of 38e Rugissants / Grenoble. Recently Ziya Azazi worked during a residency in Royaumont, with the composer Zad Moultaka on themes that are common to them. Under the misplaced title, they are inspired by the traditional practices of dance, transforming them by a personal and contemporary questioning.
Ziya Azazi chose dance as a language to discover her center, to move around the world to find her truth, the hidden truth which is gradually revealed through the movement, following the line of the mystics of Anatolia, transgressing the boundaries of this ancestral tradition. The body of Ziya Azazi speaks a clear language: the man seeks the absolute, the truth, the sense of being. However it must go through several stages like fear, confusion, ignorance …The path that Ziya Azazi chose is that of joy and repetition, from whirling to ecstasy. His body becomes a medium to deploy magic, purity but also a deeply human loneliness. As the artist himself says: “I forget myself and become a mirror. I empty myself and I clean myself.”