“In the depths of darkness stands a young woman, her slender body sparkling in soft silk of pearly hue. Her hair is dark, the color of the night sky. Fear floats down her spine. Her long legs are trembling.”
“In her Kurdish dance Dîlan, Leïla carries to the stage the fire in the hearts of young men and women dancing at the Newroz festivities whose origins go back to the ancient worship of the sacred fire. She feels the blood of her forebears coursing through her veins.”
Leïla: The journey of a name handed down through the times. The infusion of the Oriental into the West; the marriage of Eastern passion and Western individuality in dance. A marking of moments of Leïla Bederkhan, a Kurdish princess who crossed continents and cultures, who defied convention and succeeded in her quest to become a famous dancer.
“A woman of firsts”: the first Royal to have danced before the Sphinx in modern times, the first Kurdish woman to dance in Europe and America. A woman whose name and life inspired generations to come.
“Had the Botan River shifted its path and history run a different course, Leïla’s family emblem in Cizîra Botan would have been set in gold delicately outlined in black ink. She would have been brought to life by the magic brush of a miniaturist as the face of Zîn, beloved of Mem, in a book of miniatures, the borders of its pages illuminated with the rich red of pomegranates. Bound in wild silk found in the hills near Cizîr, the cover would have borne the silver Bedirhan monogram.”
“But the story remains in the moments of mist, in the ephemerality of whispered words, in words first carved into clay and then forgotten, at the tip of tongues deprived of ancestral sounds.”
Searching for Leïla the Kurdish Princess of Dance
14x22, 328 pages, hardcover, dust jacket, high-grade paper pulp, 110 gr. 3 forms coloured