Jaynie Aydin Ethnographic Dance Research and Performance

Jaynie's Blog

Jaynie Aydin Dance Studio

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Greetings Friends of Dance Ethnography!
Some of you have been asking about the scheduled release date of DANCES OF TURKEY VOLUME 1 : Variants of Turkish Belly Dance…well, after great deliberation and many meetings with my Turkish Lawyer, Eda Ozturk Av. I am sorry to have announce yet another delay. It seems we may have to once again re-edit as many of my dancing informants expressed discomfort with being depicted belly dancing in public. I have to respect the wishes of the people I have filmed and danced with and will begin another re-edit this year…In the mean time I am able to show much of the original footage in lectures and symposiums for academic and research purposes. SO PLEASE INVITE ME!

I am also thrilled to announce that I will be opening The Jaynie Aydin Dance Studio in the beautiful California Sierra Foothills. For those of you interested in studying with me you can contact me at jaynie@jaynieaydin.com and if you are close to the Nevada City, California area you are invited to take a group or private lesson with me. The studio will be in operation in late July and will be open most of the year–except when I am in Turkey.

Happy Dancing and Stay in Touch!

Ethnographic Dance Research: Live Zeibekiko and Sirtaki Dance and Music in Bodrum, Turkey

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Well Friends of Dance Ethnography~
I am happy to give you all a quick report from Bodrum, Turkey where I am spending quality holiday time during this summer of 2011. I received an invitation to come and film Traditional Aegean Tavern dancing from Adem Guner, the owner of MEYHANI Taverna in Bodrum, Turkey (www.meyhani.com). Four nights a week during the summer season, the Tavern hosts some of the best traditional musicians from the Bodrum area as well as the neighboring Greek islands. It is a marvelous experience to watch Greek and Turkish musicians play side by side and observe how the regional music and dances, with slightly differing variants, are bringing folks together in the spirit of cultural celebration. After a few glasses of Raki and a forkful of delicious mezzes, I am inspired to leave my position behind the camera and get up to do a few ciftetelli dances for the many enthusiastic patrons at the tavern. I HIGHLY recommend that if any dancer or fan of Aegean music should find themselves in Bodrum, Turkey then a night at MEYHANI Taverna is a must on the list of things to do.

Update on Dances of Turkey Volume 1 and Jaynie’s Summer Schedule

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Greeting friends of Dance Ethnography!
So sorry it has been a quiet winter and spring from my end of things. As some of you may know I have been in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus working in a very special place called Lefke. My students all passed their exams with flying colors by learning basic ethnographic video production. In the process of our classes I, along with my student community, had the chance of visiting many historical places in North Cyprus. We conducted a series of ethnographic interviews on film that focused on the many aspects of folk culture here on the island. In between classes I was able to do a little bit of editing on Dances of Turkey Volume 1. In two weeks time I will be in Izmir again where I will complete the editing in collaboration with PARADOX Production house. It is my goal to have the video out for distribution by September- thanks for your patience!

A new project is already underway and will involve the performance of regional identity in the form of the classic ZEYBEK dance. I will be attending and filming a BIG WEDDING in my favorite village called DAMPINAR in Aydin, Turkey. I hope to show how traditions from the past are expressed in modern day village life.

I invite you all to visit my website for more details- or as always, e-mail me at jaynieaydin@gmail.com.
More news coming soon!
ALOHA- Jaynie

Dr. Jaynie Aydin’s L.A.U. TV (European University of Lefke) Culture Programs

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Aloha Friends of Dance Ethnography!
Yes, yes, we are STILL editing the Dances of Turkey Volume 1: Variants of Turkish Belly Dances. I entered the movie into 2 film festivals so it HAS to be done by summer. I promise.

I have been working with my new students in North Cyprus day and night training them to make documentaries about dance, culture, and traditional lore. Although I have many productions of my own to finish I truly enjoy teaching at European University of Lefke. Our university has a new TV station called LAU TV and we are working together with a special crew from Izmir (Levent Duranli, Nurhan Vurhal, and Fehmi Togrul) in order to make bodacious programs about local folk life. It has been a great pleasure to find such satisfactory work in the fields of Folklore and Anthropology.

Yes, I am finding time to go to Turkey twice a month and I will be there for the annual Izmir Tepecik Hidrellez festival in May.

New News from Dr. Jaynie Aydin European University of Lefke (L.A.U.)

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Greetings Dance and Culture Enthusiasts…
I am happy to inform you that I have been assigned to teach ethnographic filmmaking and video production to our fine students here in Lefke, North Cyprus. This spring we will be putting some new ideas together for our local television station. The class will be based on my mentor John Bishop’s wildly fun production classes at UCLA department of World Arts and Cultures. Long live the Lomax spirit and the DUDE John Bishop (who can be found at www.media-generation.net)!

We at European University of Lefke department of Radio, Television, and Communication hope to feature some of the talented community members that lurk between the mountains and the sea. Of course I will always be most likely to focus my attention on performance, dance, and the neighborhood folklore. However I am looking forward to learning what my students will be interested in documenting for the sake of cultural preservation. Some of the Lefke residents are avid hunters and I have learned rabbit is a special delectable treat for summer Barbecues. Unfortunately I don’t eat lagomorphs–BUT I do love to film people in action and I AM handy with a shotgun. I have also been told that there will be some special Duguns (Parties) coming up in the spring and I intend to participate (and film) the festivities.

More news coming soon from the Mediterranean–about visual dance ethnography!
Aloha~ Dr. Jaynie

Jaynie at European University Of Lefke 2011

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Greetings Friends of Dance and Culture!
I thank you all for the inquiries and feedback about our “Dances of Turkey” project! As many of you know the project, “Dances of Turkey Volume 1: Variants of Turkish Belly Dances” is STILL in post production. Each time I screen it, I get valuable input from my audience. I want to pay attention to what information our viewers would like to gain from watching this projected 50 minute film. For this reason I will be shooting supplementary interviews with our dancers/musicians in March 2011, and I will be tightening the narrative to make the film more informative–not only about the dances but about customs and social contexts as well. THANKS for your patience and support!

In other BIG news, I have accepted a full time position at the European University of Lefke in Lefke, North Cyprus. I will be innovating new classes such as “Body Language,” “Visual Culture,” and of course, “Ethnographic Film.” Stay tuned for our new programs involving world dance research, ethnography, and performance. Our campus has excellent resources and we will be able to continue to edit our ethnographic dance research materials in the video lab, where I aim to take full advantage of our MAC/Final Cut Pro set ups. For those of you who have inquired about studying undergraduate or advanced degrees in the dance/visual ethnography related fields with me, you may now consider coming to European University of Lefke–the Mediterranean’s premier University of arts and interdisciplinary sciences. (www.eul.tr.edu)

In addition I will continue to studio classes like Yoga and Belly Dance in the European University’s 5 Star Fitness Center. We hope to get our students excited about the many performance opportunities available in North Cyprus.

My residence will still be maintained in Izmir, Turkey and I have MANY projects based in Anatolia and Thrace this year including “Dances of Turkey Volume 2: A Zeybek Wedding,” an EXCITING film which will be co-edited by the residents of Dampinar in Aydin, Turkey.

I will by no means be leaving Turkey. This means, to all of my Turkish students, I encourage you to keep in touch. I am still available for you. To all of my friends in USA and the Pacific Islands, I can now host you in Turkey AND North Cyprus.

More Soon from the Aegean AND NOW the Mediterranean!
Dr. Jaynie

2011 Dances of Turkey Report

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Happy New Year to all of our Friends of Dance Ethnography!
A greeting to you all from Izmir, Turkey, where I am currently re-vamping the narrative and study guide that will accompany “Dances of Turkey Volume 1: Turkish and Roman Belly Dances.” The screenings of the film were very successful in the United States and Croatia and I am incorporating the great feedback I received to make this movie even better! For those of you that aren’t familiar with the many variants of Turkish Belly Dances –and for those of you that are– our aim is to enhance understanding about the social aspects of these dances as they are performed on stage and in the celebratory setting. 2011 promises to be an exciting year with many more Dances of Turkey videos in post production! Stay tuned for our Zeybek Wedding previews AND our Turkish Rhythms and Percussion CDs that will be sure to please every kind of belly dancer and fan of Turkish music! ALOHA and keep those innovative ideas and questions coming! ALOHA~ Jaynie and the gang at jaynieaydin.com

San Francisco Premiere of Dances of Turkey Volume 1

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Hi Dance Ethnography Friends~
Here is the report on the release of Dances of Turkey Volume 1: Turkish and Roman Belly Dance….
The film is finished! Or at least the first draft anyways…I have screened it in Hawai’i, Arizona, Chicago, Los Angeles, and tonight—in SAN FRANCISCO! The feedback is positive! Now, we are writing the PDF study guide file that will accampany the DVD release. Thanks you for your patience and keep the inquiries coming! I will let you all know when the DVD will be available for purchase. I have agreements with Media Generation and Documentary Education Resources for distribution and will be selling it on www.turkishcloset.com when that gets up in mid-january! I am ALWAYS checking and responding to your feedback and questions in the mean time…
ALOHA- Jaynie

My Lawyer is Pregnant! A Delay in Production???

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Hi Friends of Turkish Dance Ethnography!
I am writing to you from my home in Izmir where I am currently frosting the finishing touches on our “Dances of Turkey Volume 1: Turkish and Roman Belly Dances.” Thankfully the boys at Paradox Productions here in Bornova are assisting me on all levels of sound editing, which I admit is not my strength. I have completed the narrative and now we will seal the deal in Los Angeles in October when I am back with Tony Miller, my rock of an editing assistant. Who new post production with no budget could be so tricky?

In other news I have learned about the coming birth of my next god-child, due in March of 2011. The progeny will be born to my Lawyer, Eda Ozturk, here in Turkey and I selfishly hope this does not cause any problems for my production schedule. Every dance ethnographer needs a lawyer and I am convinced I have the best one in Turkey. However I may be in the market for a wet nurse so I can have my lawyer back all to myself. And a note to my other god children: This means my gold will have to be evenly distributed between you so please, choose between Turkish, Tongan, or English as your language of future negotiations. Aunty is about to build a BIG ASS empire and you babies are going to be the ones who feel the trickle down effect.

Thanks for keeping up to date with my progress! E-mail me if you have any questions or comments!

Moon Over Morocco- Friday August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

I am very excited to be presenting a sneak peek preview of the “Dances of Turkey” Volume 1 DVD at Alexandra King’s Moon Over Morocco Dance event in Santa Barbara, California. It should be a good chance for me to learn audience questions while in the final stages of narrative development. We will also be learning some Turkish Rom inspired dance moves and incorporating them into our performance of 9/8!