Ozgen’s Dancing Delights Audience at the London International Arts Festival

Turkish Cypriot dancer Ozgen Ozgec, Indian megastar, 82 year old classical vocalist Dr Balamuralikrishna, Grammy nominated British classical violin star Robert Atchison, and legendary Israeli Jazz drummer Asaf Sirkis all performed at the first London International Arts Festival (LIAF). The three-day event took place in the Grade II listed Redbridge Town Hall in East London.

Originally from Guzelyurt in North Cyprus, 31 year old Ozgen is one of the best Turkish Folk, Romany and Oriental dancers in the world. He performed a 30 minute solo dance on Sunday 12 August. His set included glamorous costumes and dramatic Turkish music, with a range of brilliant body moves that generated a rapturous response from the audience. For many, it was the first time they had seen Turkish dancing.

Organised by Dhruv Arts, LIAF is East London’s first diversity arts festival. This new annual multi-cultural event intends to provide a platform for arts and culture rarely seen in the British capital outside of their own ethnic communities. The weekend festival featured a total of 14 colourful performances of contemporary and classical music and dance with leading artists from around the world. They were selected by curator and violin virtuoso Jyotsna Srikanth from 1,800 applications. Festival goers travelled from across Britain to see the shows, with one fan even coming from France.

The festival was compered by BBC broadcaster DJ Ritu. Mexican band La Internacional Sonora Balkanera closed the festival. Their infectious Arab and Balkan laced Latin rhythms got everyone dancing, including Redbridge Mayor Muhammed Javed.

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