Mehmet Sander was born in Germany in 1967. He started dancing with Geyvan Mcmillen in Istanbul in 1984. Sander continued his dance education at the London Contemporary Dance School, California State University (Long Beach), Harvard University and American Dance Festival. He was inspired by postmodern architecture of Louis Kahn, painters such as Mondrian, Kandinsky and composers like John Cage. Sander was also influenced by dancers such as Merce Cunningham and Jeff Slayton in his early career. Sander founded the Mehmet Sander Dance Company in 1990 and received many awards, including the Long Beach Public Arts Fund Artist′s Award for his performances and choreographies (1992-1993) and the Lester Horton Dance Award for the success of his company (1992-1993).
In the United States, Mehmet Sander and his company performed in many places such as Sushi Gallery (San Diego), Highways (Santa Monica), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Los Angeles Festival (1993), Japan-American Theater and Alaska Performing Arts Center (Anchorage). The company participated in numerous events and festivals such as the Holland Dance Festival, New Moves in Europe Festival (Scotland), ICA – a National Look at Live Arts (UK), Klapstuk Festival (Belgium), Munich Dance Festival (Germany), Szene Festival Salzburg (Austria), Belluard Bolwerk International Festival (Sweden), Transform Copenhagen (Denmark), Istanbul Music Festival (Turkey) and Festival International de Danza (Brazil). Mehmet Sander′s work entitled “Inner Space” was presented by the Joffrey Ballet, one of the most important American dance companies to date, at prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institution. The Joffrey Ballet will present this piece again for its 50th year anniversary.
Mehmet disbanded his company in 1998, and in 2006 he moved back to his hometown of Istanbul. Currently, he is creating new work in England. In 2011 University of London, Queen Mary commissioned a new work from him, and Tate Modern will be presenting his workshops in September 2014.
Video: Single Space Choreography by Mehmet Sander
Video: Documentary on Mehmet Sander