Mehmet Balkan was born in Ankara in 1956. He has been involved in ballet for 45 years and choreographed over 60 ballets in his career. Balkan graduated from the Ankara State Conservatory, where he studied classical ballet, piano and music education. He joined the Ankara State Opera and Ballet as a soloist at the age of 18. In the same year, he performed as principal dancer in the "Patinör” at the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet.
In 1974 Balkan continued his ballet education in England and made his name heard around the world when he won third place at the 1978 International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. In 1979 he was invited to West Germany by the director of the Munich Opera Lynn Seymour and performed as soloist at the Munich Opera. He also danced in the Hanover State Ballet as a guest dancer. In 1982 Balkan was among the 100 Most Famous People in West Germany. He then performed as principal dancer at the Bonn State Opera and Ballet (1983-1984) and the Belgium Royal Ballet Company (1984) before achieving great success during a U.S. tour in 1986. Balkan received the "Best Choreographer" award in an International Choreography Competition, which was held in Japan in 1994. He performed in many ballet and opera works as a guest dancer in Stuttgart, Cologne, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Hamburg, Roma, Amsterdam, Zürich, Basel, Verona, London, Glasgow, Minneapolis, New York, Tokyo, Pekin, Milano, Calgary and Budapest.
Balkan choreographed a ballet work for the first time for the Belgium Royal Ballet. In 1999 he was appointed to the position of choreographer at the Antalya State Opera and Ballet. In 2001 Balkan was selected as the Best Five Ballet Directors by a ballet magazine "Dance Europe.” In the following year, he was appointed to director of the Portugal State Ballet. Later he started working as director at the Antalya State Opera and Ballet. In 2008 Balkan choreographed and staged the work "Çağrı." He served as a jury member in the International Istanbul Dance Competition in 2010. Balkan currently continues his work as a choreographer in the world.
Reference: milliyet.com.tr, hurriyetdailynews.com, tr.wikipedia.org