Meriç Sümen

Style of Art : Ballet dancer, director, educator, choreographer
Branch of Art : Ballet
Art Profile :

Meriç Sümen graduated from the Ballet Department at Ankara State Conservatory. In 1961 she started working as a ballet dancer in the Ankara State Opera and Ballet. She performed a role of Giselle at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow in 1972, 1979 and 1982. In addition, she danced as a guest dancer in Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Riga and Odessa. Sümen has won many first prizes and merit awards in Turkey and abroad. In 1972, she was selected as “artist of the year” by the Turkish Women Society. She was also awarded “the best dancer” in Copenhagen (1973) and Warsaw (1975). In 1973, Sümen gave lessons for a month in Copenhagen. She was invited to the Gala of the First World Ballet Contest in Tokyo and performed as an honor guest. Sümen served as a dancer, Chief Choreographer and Ballet Art Director in the Ankara State Opera and Ballet (1979-1986) and the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet (1986-1989, 2001-2002). Besides them, she has performed as a guest dancer in England, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Russia, the US, Holland, Poland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Japan, Egypt, Pakistan, Tunisia, Algeria and Cyprus. In 1981, Sümen received the title of “State Artist” from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In 1983-1984, Sümen finished at the Moscow Teaching Department of Bolshoi Dance Academy and received a diploma of “Ballet Teacher”. Between 1989 and 1992, she taught at the Istanbul State Conservatory, which belongs to Mimar Sinan University.

Sümen served as a jury member in the Moscow Ballet Contest (1981, 1985), Varna International Ballet Contest (since 1980) and Osaka/Tokyo World Ballet Contest (1984, 1987, 1991 and 1995). In 1998, she was awarded two special prizes as a dancer and educator by TOBAV on the occasion of 50th anniversary of Turkish Ballet. In 1998, she gave classes on classical ballet as a guest tutor in the Ballet Theater in Dallas for 3 weeks.

Sümen has performed as prima donna in the stage of Swan Lake, Giselle, the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet, Don Quixote, Şımarık Kız (Sassy Girl), Judith, Ferhat & Şirin, Bahçesaray Fountain, Scheherazade, Le Sylphides, La Patinuers, Çeşme Başı (Fountain corner), Pagodalar Prensi (Prince in Pagodas), Beauty & Beast, Three Sisters, Orpheus, Blood Wedding, Pas De Quatre, Pembe Kadın (A Woman Called Rosy), La Bayadere, Paquita, Sylvia, Faust, Hançerli Hanım (The Lady with the Dagger), La Symphonie Fantastique, Petrushka, Le Spectre de La Rose, Esmeralda and La Traviata. In 1998, she performed in the modern dance “Afife”, which was choreographed by Beyhan Murphy. Sümen served as a chief dancer and repetiteur (1990-2005), and director and art director (2005) in the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet. Since 2005, she has served in the General Director of Ankara State Opera and Ballet. Her life was written in the book “Dansa Aşık Bir Kuğu: Meriç Sümen” (Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Publications, 2010) by Nevsal Baylas.


Foundation : Ankara State Opera and Ballet
City : Ankara
Country : Turkey
Preferred Lang. : Turkish
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