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Işıl Bıçakçı (1986) was born and raised in İstanbul. After graduating from Computer Sciences and realising coding and programming was not the profession she truly aimed for, her interests started to shift towards the performing arts. After studying acting in Theatre Academy and also performing there, she started her study of Contemporary Dance at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory in Istanbul. Even before her graduation in 2015 she had started creating her own performances that 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 works.


During the last year of her study, Işıl worked with Ann Van den Broek in Belgium as an intern.  Upon her return to Turkey, she joined İstanbul State Opera and Ballet Modern Dance Ensemble (MDTİst) as a performer. Not long after that, her talents in creating, sparked genuine interest by the director and she started making projects for MDTİst. By the time she started working as a freelancer, she was proposed for her first independent project, by one of the most respectable theatres of İstanbul, Moda Theater. She started her new project “Razed/Yerle Bir” with 5 performers and all the support of the theatre, while not knowing what was ahead: Covid pandemic that emerged before the premier. 

Her curiosity about the physical and mental limits of a human being made her continue to develop her abilities. At the Impulstanz Festival, after assisting Ziya Azazi with his whirling workshops “Dervish in Progress”, Işıl gathered the required skills and started guiding whirling overseas.


She moved to Belgium and started giving contemporary dance, improvisation workshops in Wisper. She gained quite an interest and support with her new solo performance “Cage-Free” which has opened the doors for her in Belgium. Her first project in this new land, brought many possibilities and opportunities to keep doing what she’s been doing: making projects.


Her diverse background has a big influence on her works: theatre, dance, performance, Turkish traditional dances/musics and science. Her artistic approach is fueled with a protest attitude and it’s refined by her desire to combine philosophy, movement, spoken word, live music/sound design, technology and science through a delightful way in her projects.


To this day, she continues her career as a freelance instructor, performer and choreographer.

photo: © Gillis Sacré
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