Born in Istanbul, Canan Erek is a dancer, choreographer and curator who lives and works in Berlin. After having a classical ballet education in Ankara and Istanbul, she got to know Pina Bausch`s work which was an initial reason to move to Germany. 1987 she came to study contemporary dance at Folkwang University in Essen and graduated in 1991 under the direction of Pina Bausch.
From 1992 to 1996 she continued her academic studies in choreography at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art in Berlin. After completing her studies, she has focused exclusively on choreography and solo projects. Her works had been shown in different venues in Berlin and Festivals in Germany. As guest-choreographer she has been working for the Australian Opera in Sydney, Hans-Otto-Theater in Potsdam and for Berliner Ensemble.
From 2004 to 2007 she served as artistic director of the Company „Leipziger Tanztheater“ in Leipzig.
Since 2007 she is living and working again in Berlin. Her artistic collaborators for her stage productions were mainly composers such as Peter O´Donoghue, Carlos Sandoval and Mark Andre. Her artistic work is placed between dance and theater with socio-culturel content. Also the cross-disciplinary working with artist from the field of music and film shapes her artistic expression.
Between 2012-16 she began to investigate the direct contention with urban realities and developed a site-specific performance series (dance poetry) in public authorithy spaces. 2017 she created (Green Move) another site-specific performance, dealing with human being and nature in the Kurparks of Rhein-Main Region.
As an artist she has been in charge of various community and education dance projects. Among others she created several choreographies for young people within the Education-Program of Berliner Philharmoniker.
She is the initiator and artistic director of „PURPLE – International Dance Festival for young Audience“, which took place for the fourth time in January 2020 in Berlin.
Her projects had been supported by the City of Berlin – Department for Cultural Affairs, Hauptstadtkulturfond, Projektfonds for cultural education and several district offices for culture in Berlin. Over the last seven years, as chairperson from the association “Zeitgenössischer Tanz Berlin e.V” she was involved in the cultural politics of Berlin.