Hale Pınar Zengingönül, a native of Antalya, Turkey, started dancing at the age of 4. Her serious involvement with dance directing started at the University of Illinois during her Ph.D. studies, where she was the elected director of the Turkish Folk Dance Group. After moving to Boston in 1997 she joined Collage Dance Ensemble as a dancer later becoming group’s assistant director and manager. During her time in Boston she studied various forms of international folk dance;Georgian Caucasian style with GiorgiShanidze, Irish step dancing with Kieran Jordan, Flamenco with Ramon de los Reyes and Clara Ramona, Ukrainian Folk dance with Regina Hancher, and Israeli dancing with Sheila Skitnevsky-Finger. She has also studied ballet with Susan Endrizzi, Julie Fajardo and Molly Wheat.
In 2002 Ms. Zengingönül founded MAVİ DANCE, and in 2005 her work was commissioned by World Music/Crash Arts to be presented in the “Dance Straight Up” dance performance series. She was a finalist in Massachusetts Cultural Council’s 2008 statewide choreography competition. Ms. Zengingonul’s extensive teaching and directing include teaching and choreographing for multicultural dance groups, Boston Int’l Dance Learning Group, Boston Chinese Dance Group, conducting adult classes/workshops in dance departments and festivals. In 2008 she has become one of the founding members of Massachusetts Dance Festival. Following her move to İstanbul, Turkey in 2012 fall she joined a partnership with SedaGünaydı founding the Mavi Dance Turkey branch in İstanbul.
Born in Georgia, Mr. Shanidze began dancing when he was 6 at the Georgian Studio for National Dance where he was quickly promoted to head soloist position. Upon his graduation he joined the Ensemble Iberia as the head soloist. During his years with the Ensemble he received Winner of Grand Prix award in MallarcaSpain, Premier Laureate award and second place award with his ensemble in Agrigento, Sicily. He has extensively traveled in Europe and Asia, including Germany, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Italy, Turkey and Singapore.
In 2002 Mr. Shanidze joined Mavi Dance as a choreographer and dancer. Since then he has choreographed and taught extensively in Massachusetts for Boston International Dance Learning Group and Boston Chinese Dance Group in addition to Mavi Dance. In Massachusetts Cultural Council’s 2008 choreography competition he was picked as a finalist. He has also taught throughout the United States participating in festivals and conducting international folk dance workshops. Mr. Shanidze is also a professional painter trained in the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts. There he specialized in Motion Picture Design. He trained with Dmitri Takaishvili on Motion Picture Design and Illustration, and with EsmaOniani on Painting. Throughout his Academy training between 1996-1999, he was awarded High Honors in Painting, Drawing, and Motion Picture Design subjects.