a, Arts & Entertainment, Music

Fire of Anatolia: sure to set the stage ablaze

Since its establishment in 1999, Fire of Anatolia (originally titled Sultans of the Dance) has been continuously dazzling audiences around the globe with its impressive spectacle of dance and percussion. Conceived and produced by Mustafa Erdoğan, a native of Turkey, this unique performance draws inspiration from the ancient mythological and cultural history of Anatolia. The overarching themes of the show; love, culture, history, and the peace of Anatolia; are told through an artistic representation of some of the region’s most important myths and histories. This renowned dance group is acclaimed worldwide—they have performed in 87 countries and 275 cities, selling out each of the 35,800 live performances—however, they have not yet graced Canadian stages. This will soon to change as Fire of Annatolia make their Canadian debut at the beginning of November, with performances in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.

As CEO at Sorite Entertainment in Toronto and a key organizer of the Fire of Anatolia Canadian tour, Basri Yilmazer has given some insight into the expectations for the Canadian premiere of this eastern gem. Yilmazer discussed the fact that it is a real synthesis of East and West, combining music and dance styles from all over the world while maintaining an overarching focus on Turkish culture and history.

“[It is a] very good representation of the country,” he said, and with great excitement added, “I have never seen such a show!”

Although Fire of Anatolia has been on the stage for more than 10 years and performed for a range of diverse audiences, its has remained essentially unchanged—a testament to its success. Yilmazer, playing off the idea of dance as the universal language, said that the show is “targeting everyone—that is why it doesn’t need to change.” The original form of the performance is able to deliver its message effectively to any viewer who sees it, and Yilmazer attested to its strengths.

“[The dancers] are going to be amazing, [the audience is] going to be impressed for sure […] with this presentation of ‘traditional East’ meets ‘contemporary West,’” he said.

Aside from winning multiple awards around the world, Fire of Anatolia also holds two Guinness world records. The first record is for the fastest dance performance—reaching an amazing 241 steps per minute—and the other for the largest audience to a dance performance, reaching 400,000 people in Ereğli, Turkey. This remarkable troupe, made up of more than 50 dancers and featuring more than 3,000 dance figures, many of which date back more than 1,000 years, will surely be a worthwhile extravaganza. Yilmazer has even announced that the Prime Minister will be in attendance at the Ottawa performance. If you’re looking for a unique, exciting and aesthetically beautiful experience, Fire of Anatolia promises to be a performance to remember.

Fire of Anatolia will be in Montreal at 8 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the Théâtre St-Denis (1594 St. Denis). Tickets are available at ticketpro.ca from $52-$92.

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