Işıl Bıçakçı (1986) was born and raised in İstanbul. After graduating from Computer Sciences and realising that programming was not the profession she truly aimed for, her interests started to shift towards the performing arts. After her training of acting in Turkey’s highly acclaimed Müjdat Gezen Theatre Academy and also performing there, she started studying Contemporary Dance at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory in Istanbul. Even before her graduation she had already started creating her own choreographies.
With “Everything is under control” she managed to gain support, while her piece “M.A.S.K.” ended up being performed at several festivals in Istanbul. Both were already showing her talent for inviting subtle irony and a sense of humour as well as clarity to her work, which remains recognisable in her later choreographies. In her own words: “What I really care and obsess about is breaking expectations and memorisation, playing with unpredictability. I try to add value to simplicity because making something interesting to see doesn’t always require many variations. Less is more.”
During the last year of her education, Işıl was invited to work as an intern with Ann Van den Broek in Belgium for a year. Upon her return to Turkey, she joined the State Opera and Ballet Modern Dance Ensemble in Istanbul (MDTİst). Not much later, her next choreography “Hal/Status” was added to the repertoire of MDTist and started receiving international recognition, sending her on several trips abroad, most notably the Seoul Choreography Festival, Busan International Dance Festival, International Dance Market in Busan, the Gyeryongsan Dance Festival and İstanbul Fringe Festival. As the scene of performing arts started picking up again, in 2022, she made a new choreography called “Kıssa” for MDTİst.
Her curiosity about the physical and mental limits of a human being made her continue to develop her abilities. At the Impulstanz festival in Austria she met with Ziya Azazi, the world’s foremost whirling instructor. After assisting Mr Azazi with his whirling workshops “Dervish in Progress”, Işıl gathered the required skills and started teaching whirling worldwide.
After she moved to Belgium, she started teaching contemporary dance, improvisation workshops in one of the most respectable platform Wisper. Her new solo choreography “cage-free” took place on the day of the dance at Danspunt, in collaboration with Wisper.
To this day, she continues her career as a freelance instructor, performer and choreographer.