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BASMALA – friend or foe

Choreography by Neco Çelik

How do Hip Hop and Islam connect? In the 90s, journalist Harry Allen claimed Islam to be the official religion of Hip Hop. Protagonists of HipHop-Culture as well as the US civil rights movement during the 60s and 70s felt a connection to Islam and it thusly became an integral part of youth culture. Hip Hop and Islam turned into meaningful elements of life for young people on a global scale - although a negative connotation added over the course of the younger past can hardly be denied. How can it be that a cultural movement that longed for equality and justice can be instrumentalized by groups of radicals? When do aesthetic and religious practices turn into terrorism?

Each and every action in islamic everyday life should be started with the Basmala-formula so that ALLAH blesses it and rewards it as a service to God. What will these actions look like in the future?

Choreography, Stage design, Costume: Neco Çelik Dance: Sefa Erdik, Milad Samim, Said Gamal, Ibrahima Biaye, Freddy Houndekindo, Janis Heldmann Production management: Zekai Fenerci Concept: Julia Figdor Light design: Jens Piske


World Premiere: 10.03.2016, ZECHE 1 / Zentrum für urbane Kunst, Bochum
Guest performance: u.a. tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf, Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, Theaterfestival FAVORITEN Dortmund, FORUM Leverkusen, tanz nrw 2017 Köln

BASMALA captivates us as it offers a glimpse of conscience that seems to be genuine and is danced in a grand manner, a glimpse into strange worlds of martial beauty which at the same time tells about the abusive power art can have. (Dorothea Marcus’s review on nachtkritik, 2016)

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