Turkish Dance

Northeastern Anatolia Region


Northeastern Anatolia Regions: (Erzurum, Kars, Agri, Gumushane, Bayburt)

Bar erzurum womanBar erzurum man

Bar :

With their structure and formation, they are the dances performed by groups in the open. They are spread, in general, over the eastern part ofAnatolia (Erzurum Bayburt, Kars, Agri provinces). The characteristic of their formation is that they are performed side-by-side, hand, shoulder and arm-in-arm. Woman and man bars are different from one another. The principal instruments of our bar dances are davuland zurna (shrill pipe). Later, clarinet has been added to the woman bars. The dominant measures in bars are 5/8 and 9/8. Occasionally measures of 6/8 and 12/8 are used.Akszk 9/8 measures which are also the most characteristic measures, in particular, of the Turkish folk music are applied with extremely different and interesting structures in this dance.

Eastern and southeastern Region



(Gazi Antep, Maras, Adiyaman, Urfa, Diyarbakir,Elazig, Malatya, Bingol, Sivas, Erzincan, Mus, Bitlis, Siit, Mardin, Hakkari,Van)

The word halay refers to getting together with people. Found in three different regions, the halay is frequently associated with two cities, Sivas and Corum, in Central Anatolia. It is performed by men and women alike, who stand closely linked in a line, circle or semicircle. Relying on a leader to announce the step changes, done by calls and/or waves of an accompanying handkerchief, the dancers begin slowly. Gradually over one, two or three sections, they increase their speed. Often, hand clasp are featured, which may be done by individuals or with opposing partners. When performed outdoors and also in the East, the powerful voices of the zurna and davul are generally preferred. Indoors, and elsewhere in Anatolia, the halay is accompanied by the gentler sounds of the wind instruments mey, kaval and more recently the clarinet as well as the stringed instrument, the baglama.  

adiyaman manadiyaman man woman


In South Eastern Anatolia, the city was founded in 7th century. There are ruins of an Arab castle restored by Seljijuks; 14th century mosque, Ulu Cami And Bazaar are the main attractions. National Park on Mount Nemrut, Highest point of Northern Mesopotamia, is known for the gigantic stone status of God's with heads lying on the ground. 2000 years old history of Commegene civilization on display. The dance performed by a group of male and female dancers reflecting, daily life of the people in a colorful way. The Dance symbolizes, as one of the best examples, the solidarity between man and woman, Besides her housework, the woman also helps her husband.Accompanying instruments drum and zurna. 

elazig woman_man


is a city in central eastern Turkey. Its dances belong to the regional category of dance style called "Halay". A typical dance is "Cayda Cira" a favorite dance for Henna-Painting celebrations and weddings. It is danced in the dark with the dancers carrying candles on plates, representing the reflection of the candles in the water as the "Gelin Alayi"(the procession that makes the trip receive the bride from her father's home) moves along the stream. There are dances from Elazig that men and woman perform separately, but most are done by men and women together. The davul and the clarinet are the traditional instruments that accompany the dances of this region.  

Black Sea Region



(Trabzon,Ordu,Samsun,Giresun, Rize, Artvin)

In this region, corn and the sea play an important role in the local economy and social life. One of the types of fish that lives primarily in the Black Sea is the hamsi, a kind of anchovy. This small fish is caught in great numbers by the fishermen's nets. One of the most characteristic movements, in horon dances, is a fast shoulder shimmy and a trembling of the entire body, which imitates or suggests the movements of the hamsi as it swims in the sea or struggles in the nets for its life.

Horon dances include a number of other steps and movements, many of which are physically demanding, especially since they are often done in quick succession. Usually an ever increasing tempo is kept up by the kemenceci, or fiddler, who stomps the beat with his foot as he plays, or by the zurna and duval players working together. These movements include: kneeling, sudden squats, sharp turns left and right, stamps, kicks from the knee, high thrusts from the thigh, walking while squatting, hopping forward on the left leg while "pawing" on the right like a horse, sudden outward arm thrusts and others.

The dancers, who may be male or female, form a line with the leader in the center. It may be interesting to note that the women's horon dances are just as quick as the men's and involve many transitions between challenging movements, along with a virtually constant shoulder shimmy. When men and women perform together, the dance is often referred to as rahat, or comfortable horon. Usually the dancers clasp fingers and extend their arms just below or above shoulder height, standing comfortable apart from one another. At other times, their bodies are closer together, with arms at their sides or bent at the elbows.

black sea manblack sea woman


At the Eastern tip of the Black Sea, Artvin is a natural beauty with pine forests and mineral springs. River Coruh brings life to the area, along with various sports. Dances reflect people's relation with the wild nature, very dynamic and smooth at times, accompanied by instruments as drums and accordions. Artvin is a typical Black Sea region dance, performed by men and women together or separately.

artvin mantrabzon_woman.jpg


Northern Anatolia which lies along the Black Sea, is covered by dense pine forests and plantations of tea, tobacco and hazelnut. Fishing Villages and mountain hamlets preserve the homes of traditional wooden architectural style. The dance is played by men dressed in black, with silver trimmings and females with their colorful costumes, link arms and quiver to the vibrations of the "Kemence" (A kind of violin)
The music is vocal or instrumental and the movements of the dance resemble the quick flopping of the fish out of water. Accompanying instruments: Kemence, and double Zurna.

black se dances   

Central Mediterranean Region


Spoon (Kasik) Dances:

In Central and Southern Anatolia, there are many dances which are performed with a pair of wooden spoons in each hand. A few centers of this type of dance are Dinar, Bolu, Konya and Silifke. Many of the spoon dances from Silifke, located along the Mediterranean coast, features spoons with which the dancers click out a lively rhythm while executing quick, agile movements with their feet and arms. Frequently, the songs tell of the migratory Turkmen people. The lyrics describe their nomadic journeys, or their daily routines when settled.

The formation of kasikli dances varies and is done in lines, circles or semi-circles. In many cases, the dancers are face to face as they dance apart, their hands clacking the backs of the bowls of the spoons together. Their arm movements are prominent, as is often the case in dances that incorporate accessories, such as handkerchiefs or tools.

silifke dance


Moving along the eastern Mediterranean coast to Silifke, pine forests and orange groves descend to sandy beaches, which was a wedding present to Cleopatra. In the regional "Spoon Dance" performers are gaily dressed, male and female dancers clicking out the dance rhythm with a pair of wooden spoons in each hand.

dinar woman dances


This dance is generally performed by young girls at entertainment festivities, engagement and wedding ceremonies, in addition to the colorful costumes, the dancers have pair of spoons in each hand. Accompanying instruments: Uc telli, Zurna and Baglama.    

Aegean Region


Regions of Aegean:

(Izmir, Mugla, Denizli, Manisa, Aydin, Burdur,, Afyon, Balikesir, Isparta, Bursa ,Bilecik, Eskisehir)

zeybek man dancezeybek woman dance


In contrast to the ferverish pitch common to karadeniz dances, the Zeybek dances of Western Anatolia, near the Aegean coast, are slow and graceful. While not  done exclusively by men, they are commonly associated with them.

The work zeybek refers to a man, who is a brother, a friend, a protector of his people. In a sense he is akin to a samurai type of figure. Performed individually, in a circle or often as a solo, the zeybek dance usually begins with the man strutting boastfully to tight strains of music. The accompaniment may be a zurna and davul, or the melody may be played by a baglama, kaval, kabek kemece or clarinet, while a dumbek marks the rhythm. Individual dancers move proudly and strongly, their arms extended to their sides at shoulder height, their legs taking large steps, bending the knees occasionally and swinging the bent leg forward or behind the straight leg. With dignity and poise, the zeybek male kneels on one knee, gently touching it on the ground while twisting his body to one side.


Trakya Region


Regions of the Trakya, (Hora, Karsilama)

(Kirklareli, Edirne, Silivri, Corlu, Malkara, Kesan, Luleburgaz, Bandirma Canakkale, Istanbul)

Trakya regian dances mantrakya hora karsilam woman


(Turkish : kar??lama) is a Grecoturk folk dance found in the region of Macedonia. Kar??lamas from Turkish Language, meaning "face-to-face greeting". Also meaning is welcome Karsilamas is a couple dance that is still danced in what was the former Byzantine and Ottoman empire, from Persia to Serbia, and in the Macedonia and Thrace regions of Northern Greece.

Today it is a raucous, bordering on the erotic, couple dance between men and women where the dancers face one another. Hands are held in the upright position about eye level, fingers snapped to the beat of the music, hips swaying. The meter is 9/8, and the Basic move   is danced in four small steps with durations 2,2,2,3 respectively. The style and mood (bouncy, smooth, lively, etc.) vary depending on the region. Rumeli Kar??lamasi Trakya Kar??lamasi, Merzifon Kar??lamasi, Giresun Karsilamasi (Black see from Turkey) Edirne Kar??lamasi  is also the title of a Kar??lama in Turkish Roma musicPopular in some Balkan regions.

Hora is a type of circle dance originating in the Balkans but now found in a number of countries, most of which use slightly different spellings.

The Greek  is cognate with Bulgarian 'horo', Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian “Kolo” Macedonian 'oro', the Turkish form 'hora' and Romanian 'hor?'.

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