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A Turkish Choreographer Inspired by New York

Korhan Basaran and Dancers at the Ailey Citigroup Theater.Julieta Cervantes for The New York Times.
















The Turkish choreographer Korhan Basaran isn’t interested in beating around the bush: the title of his evening-length show last Tuesday night at the Ailey Citigroup Theater was “I am Korhan, this is my dance!” He began “On Life,” the final section, which was inspired by New York, chatting with audience members while wearing an “I ♥ NY” T-shirt.

There’s something charming about this, even (or especially) if it might cause a grizzled New Yorker to raise an eyebrow or two: Mr. Basaran ended that section alone onstage, dripping with sweat, his intense mien slowly softening into an earnest smile. You want to root for this immigrant artist, whose breathless program biography describes him as “based in the mighty New York”; “On Life,” with its buckling, collapsing phrases set to Philip Glass, pushes the dancers to drenched exhaustion in a clear emulation of chaotic, at times alienating, urban life. (The dancer Jenna Otter is particularly effective here.)

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