Ziya Azazi was born in Antakya in 1969. He graduated from the Department of Mining Engineering at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and took gymnastics training. He took the stage as a dancer at Istanbul City Theatres between 1990–1994 and made his first choreographies. He worked with various dance groups in Vienna between 1994–2000. He was awarded with a danceWEB scholarship in 1999 and was awarded the title of “The Most Outstanding Dancer of the Year in Austria” by the “Ballet International” Magazine.
The artist who has been experiencing whirling, one of the basic dances of Sufism since 1999, has interpreted this dance with different choreographies for years. While enriching the dance terminology and teaching which was formed over the years and named Dervish in Progress (DIP), he also continued to interact with different disciplines. He made artistic productions with artists such as Sebastian Prantl, Ismael Ivo, Marcia Haydee, Yoshi Oida, Jan Fabre, Thierry Smits, Kayhan Kalhor, Parastou Forouhar, Thimios Atzakas, Miguel Angel Berna, Claudio Bettinelli, Serge Adams, Zad Moultaka, Mercan Dede, Sertab Erener, Sabri Tulug Tirpan, Mehmet Balkan, Burhan Öcal, Yilmaz Erdogan, Baba Zula over the years. By giving place to different branches of art, unusual ideas, mechanical and technological opportunities in his projects, he performed the performances of Dervish in Progress, Azab, Dervish, Icons, Energy, Ember, Bolero, Neo Dervish and Kismet. The Vienna-based artist has delivered many projects and collaborations to his audience in 50 countries throughout his 30-year art career with his personal dance terminology. Within the framework of special events, he has also performed in the presence of royal family members such as Denmark, Morocco, the Netherlands, Thailand and the United Kingdom. He has shared the formed dance terminology and teaching in 35 countries around the world with workshops and retreats. Participants from 15 different countries came to DIPTEP, the two-year DIP Instructor Training that was started in 2018. DIPTEP has trained more than 30 instructors who have completed Fundamentals and 15 instructors who have completed the Formation programme so far. Despite the break due to the pandemic, preparations for the training of the 3rd and 4th generations still continue.
Azazi has also been making presentations to academic and institutional circles such as London Goldsmiths, Istanbul Culture, Vienna Music and Performing Arts Universities, Istanbul TEDx, Joyology Talks for about 10 years. In the last 15 years until the start of the epidemic, the artist made 45 performances, 10 workshops, 2 collaborations, 1 project and 1 presentation, with an average of 35 trips to 15 countries each year. He continues to give international performances, retreats, workshops, projects and trainings in various forms.