Chalguh Chengi means the ‘spirit of live music and dance’ in Turkish. The show provides a special opportunity to hear the unique instruments, songs and dances of Turkey, the Balkans and the Middle East. Streatham Rookery is the ensemble’s first London stop on their tour around England this Summer.
The pop-up show has been funded by the Arts Council to provide an opportunity for people to experience artforms from different cultures, that would otherwise not be accessible to everyone.
Anna explains: “Inspiration for the event came during lockdown – I’d lost all my regular work and childcare, so I needed to come up with new ways of keeping my toddler entertained! I realised that too much family entertainment out there is aimed at children, but not adults, so they’re not very inclusive. I wanted to create something that my son and other children and parents would enjoy, with really high quality live music, and in an environment that would hold their attention.
“I hunted down an amazing Turkish band to collaborate with. They’re a fantastic group of three men and three women who play these incredible instruments. It’s going to be so exciting for the kids to see them perform with these big instruments they’ll have never seen before.
“I’ve designed the show around a belly dance format which was developed in the US in the 1950s and 60s. It starts off fast, then slow, then fast, then slow again, with dancing that incorporates swords, sticks and veils to keep the children’s interest. We want people to feel really free to come and go and to dance and join in if they feel like it!
“I’m so happy that we’re finally able to do this. To have such an uplifting celebration outdoors, after not really being able to see live music and dance for so long. Having been in Lambeth since 2001, this performance is particularly special to me. I’m so grateful to the Arts Council for funding this, so families can experience this beautiful music and dancing for free.”
About Hazir Ensemble
The six accomplished multi-instrumentalists of Hazir will play a rich array of acoustic instruments, along with with Sevilay’s vocals, evoking the beautiful sounds of her homeland Turkey.
Their intoxicating, high-energy music includes Middle Eastern percussion, the Oud, Saz, Zurna, Piano Accordion, Clarinet, Violin and Classical Kemence.
About Anna Kemper
Anna Kemper has been performing Turkish and Middle Eastern dance internationally for over two decades. She’s also a local resident and has been teaching and putting on events in Lambeth since 2002.
She’s shared stages with some of the greatest artists of the genre, including Turkish fusion band Oojami, bellydance superstar Sonia Ochoa and Egyptian band Baladi Blues Ensemble. Commissions include teaching and performing within community and outreach organisations as well as at the London Olympics.
Come and see the show!
Watch them perform this Saturday 17 July from 2pm to 3pm at the Rookery Farmers Market, Streatham, SW16 3BZ.