TURKISH FOLK DANCES 


Facing three seas, straddling important trade routes, Turkey has a complex, sophisticated culture, reflected in the variety of its dances. The dominant dance forms are types of line dance. There are many different types of Folk Dances performed in various ways in Turkey, and these reflect the cultural structure of each region. 


MAJOR TYPES of TURKISH FOLK DANCES are as follows: 


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 of Anatolia. 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 davul and zurna (shrill pipe).  The dominant measures in bars are 5/8 and 9/8. Occasionally measures of 6/8 and 12/8 are used. The dancers normally wear costumes as they dance. They always dance with pride and they turn their hands as they hop dance. 


Halay


This folk-dance, is a part of Turkish dance and 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 or performed when folk songs are sung.



Horon


Horon, is a dance style found in the Black Sea region, now modern Turkey. The dances called Horon derived from the Greek culture of the area and are circular in nature, each characterized by distinct short steps. HORON or the round dance is a typical folk dance of the Black Sea coastal area and its interior parts. Horons appear very different from the folk dances in other parts of the country with their formation of tempo, rhythm and measure. Horons are performed, in general, by groups and their characteristic measure is 7/16 For their melodies are rendered very fast, it is very difficult to render them with every instrument. For this reason, rendering with a drum and zurna becomes practical. Melodies of horon are performed with the small type of zurna which is called 'cura'. In addition, in the interior parts blowing instruments such as bagpipe mey (again, a small zurna) etc. The other measures used are 2/4, 5/8 and 9/16. 



Zeybek


Zeybeks are, in general, the widespread folk dances of the Western Anatolia. It is rendered by one person or two or by a group of people and its name changes for example as 'seymen' in the central parts of Anatolia. Zeybek dances are formed, in general, of 9/8 measures and have a variety of tempos such as very slow, slow, fast and very fast. Very slow zeybek dances have the measure of 9/2, slow ones 9/4 and some others 9/8. Particularly in slow zeybeks, the traditional instruments is drum- zurna combination. The use of 2 drums and 2 zurnas in combination is a tradition, function of one of the zurnas is accompaniment, in other words, it accompanies the melody with a second constant tune. Apart from drum-zurna, a three-double string instrument baglama, reed, marrow bow etc. are used for fast zeybek dances. In particular, the traditional instrument of the teke (goat) dance region is reed. 


BELLY DANCING

Belly Dance is an expressive dance which emphasizes complex movements of the torso. Originally a Middle Eastern folk dance, it has evolved to take many different forms depending on the country and region, both in costume and dance style. New styles have evolved in the West as its popularity has spread globally. 



Many of the movements characteristic of belly dance can be grouped into the following categories: 


Percussive movements - Staccato movements, most commonly of the hips, used to punctuate the music or accent a beat. Typical movements in this group include hip drops, vertical hip rocks, outwards hip hits, hip lifts and hip twists. Percussive movements using other parts of the body can include lifts or drops of the ribcage and shoulder accents.



Fluid movements - Flowing, sinuous movements in which the body is in continuous motion, used to interpret melodic lines and lyrical sections in the music, or modulated to express complex instrumental improvisations. These movements require a great deal of abdominal muscle control. Typical movements include horizontal and vertical figures of 8 or infinity loops with the hips, horizontal or tilting hip circles, and undulations of the hips and abdomen. These basic shapes may be varied, combined and embellished to create an infinite variety of complex, textured movements.




Shimmies, shivers and vibrations – Small, fast, continuous movements of the hips or ribcage, which create an impression of texture and depth of movement. Shimmies are commonly layered over other movements, and are often used to interpret rolls on the or riq or fast strumming of the oud or qanun. There are many types of shimmy, varying in size and method of generation. Some common shimmies include relaxed, up and down hip shimmies, straight-legged knee-driven shimmies, fast, tiny hip vibrations, twisting hip shimmies, bouncing 'earthquake' shimmies, and relaxed shoulder or ribcage shimmies.


In addition to these torso movements, dancers in many styles will use level changes, travelling steps, turns and spins. The arms are used to frame and accentuate movements of the hips, for dramatic gestures, and to create beautiful lines and shapes with the body, particularly in the more balletic, Westernised styles. Other movements may be used as occasional accents, such as low kicks and arabesques, backbends, and head tosses.