When Kadir “Amigo” Memiş dances, stages a production or draws, he summons his creativity from memories of his childhood. He grew up as a shepherd in a village of 300 souls in Anatolia and joined his parents in Berlin in 1984.
It was then that Amigo found his way into hip-hop culture and breakdance.
Like an urban nomad, he gathered impressions of the city and began to translate them into movements. Today he is best known as a dancer, choreographer and founder of the internationally acclaimed hip-hop group Flying Steps. In Germany, he was one of the first to combine hip-hop with other elements. For example, in his production Zeybreak, he mixed elements of the traditional Turkish folk dance zeybek with breakdance to create Zeybreak.
After graduating from high-school, Amigo trained as a technical draftsman, a profession that demands a great deal of precision. This experience was later reflected not only in his perfectly rehearsed sequences of movement, but also in the calligraphy that he has been producing for more than thirty-two years. Impulsive yet thoughtful, the black lines of his drawings seem to move in different directions, forming circles and setting points. Like the movements in his choreographies, the lines in Amigo’s calligraphy always strive for a form in which intuition and reflection are in harmonious accord with one another. The boundaries between performance and visual art increasingly blur in his work.
In addition to his dance productions, Memiş has been active in the street art scene for many years. In 2003, together with artists such as Banksy, Obey, Swoon, Akim, Datagno and others, he was part of Backjumps – The Live Issue, an exhibition project in Berlin that was one of the first in Europe to explore interfaces of street art, aerosol culture and hip hop, and to present the contemporary developments of the various art forms. The starting point of the show was the international network of artists and activists that was established in 1994 by Adrian Nabi and the magazine Backjumps, which Nabi founded. A big influence on Memiş has been the Berlin writers Akim, Zast and Tagno of the legendary Jazzstyle Corner / Diamonds Crew.
Kadir “Amigo” Memiş is an Alumni of the Tarabya Cultural Academy Istanbul.
(visited from January to April 2019)
1974 - born in Turkey
1984 - came to Berlin
1993 - Co founder of the Flying Steps Crew Berlin (www.flyingsteps.com)
1994 - Mete Eksi Price - Naunynstrasse Berlin
1995 - CARTEL Tour (Choreograph) - 21 Cities in Turkey
2000 - B.O.T.Y. - four times Worldchampion in Breakdance with „Flying Steps“
1998 - Pina Bausch Theater Performance (with Niels Storm Robitzky)
2004 - Co founder of Funkin’ Stylez Battle (www.funkin-stylez.com)
2005 - Backjumps Streetart Exhibition in Kunsthaus Bethanien, Berlin
2006 - Triple Destan, Tanznacht Berlin, Akademie der Künste (Jazzstylecorner Berlin)
2008 - Light Writing Session with Chris Noelle - TOFA (Tresor)
2009 - Zeybreak - Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin
2010 - Hip Hop Research Program - Kennedy Center / Arts Department, NYC, DC, Phil.
2011 - Honored by : SUB - Street University Berlin - Street Master Price (Gio de Sera)
2011 - Translation Hip Hop - Haus der Kulturen Berlin
2014 - Red Bull Anadolu Break - Direct and Choreography (Turkey)
2016 - TEDx Talk in Istanbul about Zeybreak Dance (Turkey)
2017 - A part of the Streetart Exhibition - THE HAUS (www.thehaus.de)
2017 - Urban Nation Museum Opening Choreography - Berlin
2017 - Movement of Letters Lecture - at Tag Convention - FU Berlin
2018 - Back to Zero / A homage to the graffiti scene - HAU1 Berlin
2019 - Grand for Kulturakademie Tarabya Istanbul (Januar - April)
2020 - Urban Nation Museum - HYBRID SCULPTORS „its nothing without you“
2020 - Bleib aufm Teppich - ReTramp Gallery Berlin
2021 - Opferschicht- Narben und Namen, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin).
Fotos: Linda Rosa Saal / Graz Diez