Not long ago we received a phone call from Abdulshakoor Alaqad, a young and vibrant man telling us about his plan to make a documentary with a Sufi dancer and combining this with the Sufi Trail. We got excited together and before we knew it little by little the veal was revealed and we learned no one less than Alper Akçay was the Sufi dancer and hiker in this documentary. Now we were super excited and had to keep the news quiet. This was very hard as we were full of joy. Not long after they pulled together a film crew and were shooting on the Sufi Trail. The news spread like wildfire, and all our Sufi friends were being the warm and loving people, as they are.
Also the newspapers placed articles about the remarkable crew of nationalities as they are from Palestine, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Syria and Turkey. It’s not every day you meet a famous artist on the Sufi Trail. Alper Akçay has such a loving way of performing the Sufi dance that you get mesmerized just by looking. We hold our breaths with all the work the crew still has to do while we speak. I now understand why you see such long credits for even just a 3 minutes film. For now we are closing our eyes, thinking of the crew below who deserve all the credits and sending them love and energy to work on their exciting documentary.❤
Semazen Alper Akçay & the ‘Nur’ filmcrew
Abdulshakoor Alakkad presented his Sufi Trail documentary to the Bahçeşehir University. Abdulshakoor Alakkad together with the film crew managed in midst of the pandemic to create the most amazing shots of Semazen Alper Akçay on the Sufi Trail. On cold cave nights, sunny Iznik lake days and philosophy talks with the Sufi Trail philosopher Refik Şimşek and many more highlights they shot an amazing piece of art. As the documentary was shown to the Bahçeşehir University jury we are holding our breath to hear how it’s received. It’s been apart from shooting in difficult circumstances a journey of all emotions. We followed the film crew’s footsteps and felt a deep love and respect for them as they had to find back their creative force in the most challenging human emotions.
There was a point that they could have lost their whole family without being able to contact them in Palestine. To then be strong and grab your creative challenge back up again and create a piece of art is the tapestry of life that we all experience and need to share. There is light at the end of the tunnel and as knowone can speak the language of the heart better as Rumi “It’s the wound where the light gets in”. We hope the light will shine bright for this Sufi Trail documentary and for the film crew and the lives it will touch once it’s out in the film world.
Alper Akçay | Dancer and Performance Artist
Medicinal, Creative Movement Instructor, Bodywork Therapist, Whirling Dervish
He was born in Istanbul, Turkey and curently lives in Fethiye and İstanbul.
He graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University, the Department of Visual Communication Design MFA. During his post-graduate studies, he worked as a research assistant at Photo and Video department in Bilgi University.
In addition his education on visual art he improved himself in body and movement disciplines. He shaped his art related workswith deepened workshops focusing on dance and traditional, mystic, meditative movement practice of Sema and Semah. He produced various pieces in new media, performance art, dance, video and photography disciplines. He also took part in mixed exhibitions, various projects and performances as an artist.
He has performed in local and international events, festivals and projects in various regions including Europe, South Asia and Middle East. He has collaborated with different artists especially musicians from all around the world. He has been performing with Turkish punk rock singer Hayko Cepkin and world-renowned world music artist Mercan Dede.
He shares his knowledge and teachings in local and international art festivals, retreats, community gatherings and healing events. He carries out heart centric workshops and collaborates with international teachers and instructors about Creative – Medicinal Movements, Anatolian-Central Asian Sacred Dances, Meditative and Circle Peace Dances. In previous years, he worked with children as well.
He has recently collaborated with Turkish photography artist Dilan Bozyel for “Portrait of Humanity” project. Her photoshoot of Alper, doing Sema was selected to be part of the exhibition that is ascending 13.000 feet into stratosphere.
He practiced Skinner Releasing Technique, Japanese Butoh Dance and many Improvisational, Contemporary Movements and Dance, Yoga as well.
He is member of VAWAA International artist platform and Unesco International Dance Council CID.
Documentary Nur on the Sufi Trail
Director: Abdulshakoor Alakkad
Production coordinator: Mohammed Abu Shawish
Sound Operator: Mouaz Jasny
Editors: Otbah Kilani, Mouaz Jasny and Obida Zain
Camera man: Ahmad atrabolsi and Muath Alkayyali
Cast: Alper Akçay, Iris Bezuijen and Sedat Çakır