TURKISH FOLK DANCES
Places, Dancers, Preparations and Reasons for the Performance of Folk DancesFolk dances are performed at weddings, engagement ceremonies, when sending young men off to perform their military service, at national and religious festivals, after victories, going to and coming back from from the high plateaus and at meetings such as ferfene, yaren talks, barana or sira gezmesi.Dances are generally performed in all suitable open areas, but may also be performed in close areas as well.Folk Dance Traditions, Beliefs, Legends and StoriesSome dances reflect natural events or daily life, and others treat social events and matters of the heart. For example, the Kimil dance from Urfa province portrays a kind of pest that harms the crops and the way that villagers attempt to deal with it. Other dances refer to other stories.Costumes, Instruments and Names of Folk DancesPeople wear daily or special costumes in line with the reasons behind the particular dance.In Turkey folk dance is invariably accompanied by musical instruments. In some regions, women perform also folk dances to the accompaniment of folk songs.Folk dances are named after their creators, geographic regions, or the natural events or stories they relate.
Folk Dances By Subject Matter Folk dances may be divided into those that describe the relationship between man and nature, those that deal with rain, mist and rivers, those that describe plants, those that are defined as numbers, those that describe the relationship between man and animals and those that take social events such as fighting, war, love and courtship as their subject matter. Then there are those that reflect the ceremonies performed when a young man is about to go off to do his military service. There are dances about agriculture, the harvest and damaged crops. Other dances describe different occupations, such as shepherds. Men can perform dances that mirror the everyday lives of women. Then there are dances that describe daily tasks such as baking bread and milking, and others that describe a production procedure such as spinning yarn. Different types of group dances in different regions There are many different types of folk dances performed in various ways in Turkey, and these reflect the cultural structure of each region. The bar in Erzurum province, the halay in the East and Southeast, the hora in Thrace, the horon in the Black Sea and spoon dances in and around Konya are the best known examples of these.
HALAYThis folk-dance is performed to a large extent in the Eastern, South- Eastern and Central Anatolia and it is one of the most striking dance. It has a rich figure structure of simplicity is the symbol of creation and originality of the folk. The rhythmic elements of halay dances are very rich and are mostly performed with drum-zurna combination as well as with kaval (shepherd's pipe), sipsi (reed), cigirtma (fife) or baglama (an instrument with three double strings played whit a plectrum) or performed when folk songs are sung. You may experience all the measures of the Turkish folk music in the halay melodies.
The origins of Anatolian folk dances go back far into the past, when they were part of divine festivities. This is evident in the sin-sin which is danced at night and takes its name from the moon goddess Sin. Other dances, too, such as the Dz Halay of Sivas, the Basbar of Erzurum, the Bengu of Bergama, the Trkmen kizi (Trkmen's daughter) of Corum, the Topal Kosma of Kastamonu, the Gvende of Bursa, the Harmandali, Arpazli and Yalabik of Kozak and Kasikci, and the Horon and Siskara of Trabzon were all part of sacred rituals.
The Spoon Dance is performed from Konya to Silifke and consists of gaily dressed male and female dancers clicking out the dance rhythm with a pair of wooden spoons in each hand.
The Sword and Shield Dance of Bursa represents the Ottoman conquest of the city. It is performed by men only, dressed in early Ottoman battle dresses, who dance to the sound of clashing swords and shields without music.
Zeybek Dances (a dance of western Anatolia or its music) appear to our minds whenever Western Anatolian Folk Dances especially of Izmir, Aydin, Denizli, Balikesir and Mugla are told.Zeybek dances are various about 150 types, however they can be gathered into two main classifications.1) Slow Zeybek2) Yrk Zeybek (Fast Zeybek)