Dilek Üstünalan is based in İstanbul and currently working as a computer engineer at Boğaziçi University and pursuing her PhD in Sociology at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. She has studied computer engineering, political science and sociology. She started to dance with Flamenco in 2009, this passion continued for a long time and after trying many different dance forms, she met Contact Improvisation five years ago. She has been attending many classes, workshops and festivals on Contact Improvisation, contemporary dance, Axis Syllabus and free dance improvisation in İstanbul and Europe for about five years. During this time, she focused mainly on CI; her curiosity and inquire in and around this form still continues.
She had the chance to study with many precious instructors and share the dance with many dancers from different parts of the world by participating in international dance festivals such as ImPulsTanz, Contact Festival Freiburg and Sensing In. After she has worked as a volunteer for IDOCDE Symposiums for the last three years; in 2019 summer she has become a member of IDOCDE team and thus, concentrated on dance education and documentation issues.
Some of the instructors she had the opportunity to work together and who have significant influence on her are Defne Erdur, Nita Little, Ray Chung, Andrew Harwood, Keith Hennessy, Ann Cooper Albright, Benoit Lachambre, Kira Kirsch, Frey Faust, Barış Mıhçı, Francesca Pedulla, Antoine Ragot and Bruno Caverna.
As a member of CI – Turkey core group and ÇATI Contemporary Dance Artists Association, she takes part in the organization and facilitation of CI workshops, jams and labs; and also documentation of workshops and research. She is responsible for the administration of the ci-turkey website. She is interested in the intersection of social sciences and the research in&around CI, body, movement. She participates in international research projects, bringing arts-based or scientific research methods and movement together.
She has shared Contact Improvisation in weekly sessions with Syrian refugee women at Ad.dar Community Center, as a volunteer of “Your Movement is Free” Project of BoMoVu in the years 2017- 2018. Since April 2019, she has been doing Contact Improvisation sharings at BoMoVu within Critical Body Program.