NEVER-ENDING ENERGY AND LOVE OF LIFE
LIFE OF LILI BAROKAS, THE SYCAMORE OF BALLET, WILL HAVE YOU UNDER ITS SPELL
Another book by Meri İstiroti, one of the veterans of the health sector, has taken its place on the shelves. The book, titled “Sycamore of Ballet”, tells the story of the life of Madam Lili Barokas, one of the earliest ballet teachers of the republican era. The life of Madam Lili, who has never lost her passion for life, and her discipline in life, despite having made her jubilee in her career a short time ago, will also be a source of inspiration for future generations.
Meri Istiroti's ballet journey, which she started as a student of Madam Lili Barokas, lasted for 16 years. Having said that she gained teachings that shaped her personality and life on this journey, Meri İstiroti, while seeking for the answers of such questions as how to live quality lives in old ages, how to stay healthy, energetic, and most importantly, without losing the passion for life until the age of 100, was inspired by her ballet teacher Madam Lili, who practiced this art as a profession for 77 years, and thereupon wrote the story of her life.
Madam Lili's energy is inspiring
Having said that she was inspired by Madam Lili not only while writing the book, but also throughout her life, Meri Istiroti described the journey of the book as follows; “I actually wanted to write this book for two reasons. When we reach the ages of 40s and 50s, we begin to have a much better understanding of ourselves, and the values that make us who we are. In my 50s, I understood better what ballet and Madam Lili brought in me. Self-discipline, the strength to keep on working no matter what the circumstances are, and the feeling of being well-groomed no matter what the conditions are, have all remained from those years. It may be said that, ballet has shaped my life. I came across Madam Lili on vacation this summer. She surpassed the youth in animations, dances, and all kinds of activities. All of a sudden, lightning flashed in my head. Her never-ending energy inspired me.”
It is possible to carve a profession out of passions
Having said that, despite she met with Madam Lili Barokas, who lit her way throughout her ages of 6-21, from time to time after her graduation, she never thought of questions like the ones she had when they last met in those occasions, Meri İstiroti compiled the answers to such questions about Madam Lili, who took root in Turkish ballet history with the students she raised like a sycamore, asking “How did her family approach her taking ballet training in her life that started before World War II? How did her husband, a gynecology and obstetrician specialist, consent to her work in those years, how did he consider her art, and how did he support her while he had been working non-stop during the weekdays, and on the weekends for all these years? How did Madam Lili manage to commence her activities in the private sector, while ballet education, which was very fresh, and had just begun to sprout in the Republic of Turkey, was given only in the State Opera and Ballet Conservatory? How did she manage to get in touch with other local, and international artists? How did she establish this such contact with international ballet organizations, and ensure that all her students receive internationally recognized diplomas? How did she manage to keep on her own individual journey, after making her jubilee ending her brilliant ballet teacher career, and after losing her husband in the meantime? Where has her life energy come from, in the past, and right now? How did she manage to stay in shape, and thereby differentiate herself from her peers?, etc.”
The advices on both professional and personal life from Madam Lili Barokas, the Sycamore of Ballet, who has been in touch with hundreds of students, their families, and with much more people, and has thereby observed many life stories for 77 years, will offer young people a brand new perspective.