in whole world, we have to look at the existence of humanity history to find
the source of the Turkish folk dances. From the first ages, people have used
dances to protect themselves and express their wishes to supernatural forces.
We observe the
following main elements in the formation of today’s folk dances in Turkey: Middle
Asia, Islamism, Anatolia and Europe Culture.
should be a certain reason for the folk dances to be performed. The dance is
optional. The folk dances are performed at gatherings such as weddings, engagements,
sending a person to army, climbing up and coming down from plateaus, religious
and national bairams, at the end of the victory, seasonal bairams like spring
feast or New Day’s Year, at the end of harvest time, ferfene, barana, and friend
chatting. The Turkish folk dances are grouped in four according to their style
of being performed. The first is in circle form, second in half moon form, third
in straight row and the fourth is in two mutual straight row forms. There is
one person directing the group at the head of these rows. There are different
names given to this person in accordance with the dance performed in various
regions. He is called “barbaşı” in provinces like Erzurum, Bayburt, Ağrı, Kars
and Erzincan, “halaybaşı”, “gövenk başı” or “baş çeken” in provinces in regions
from Ankara to East and Southeast Anatolian Regions, “horon başı” in Black Sea
Region and “efe” in Aegean and Thrace Regions.
persons who direct the group are very important. They must know the music and
dance of the region very well. These persons make figures of Turkish folk dances
are very rich. The heads of the group make inspired figures that carry their
characteristics to show their skill and proficiency leaving the group. The other
persons in the group continue the dance with one figure. In zeybek dances that
are usually performed in Aegean region, named solo out of the group, the person
dancing make the dances become rich by making inspired figures except for the
main figures. The persons at the end of the row are named pöçük or last man.
dances are usually performed at open places suitable for dancing as well as
closed places. There are dances performed only by women, dances performed only
by men as well as dances performed by women and men together.
The dances that
are usually performed by groups start with slow rhythm dances. Because the elderly
persons start the dance. The dances performed by the young persons are fast
and active dances. The dances are performed with an instrument. Also they are
performed without an instrument but a folk song.
The Turkish folk
dances vary according to their subjects and style of being performed.
can classify the folk dances according to their subjects as following: dances
with subject of natural events (rain, mist, river), dances that take their name
from name of places, dances expressed by numbers, dances with the subject of
animals, social events, fight, war, sending a person to army, agriculture, profession
and daily life of women.
It is possible
to classify the dances in two main groups from the aspect of figures. Such as
common figures (double left-double right, three legs, kneeling down, turning,
hand clapping, heel hitting, cross walking etc.) seen in all regions in the
country and figures with regional characteristics (quick, armed and armless
walks in Aegean region, making three, halay swinging, shoulder swinging, shivering
in Eastern Black Sea and Eastern-Southeastern Anatolian region). When we look
at folk dances in Turkey, we see that the usage of tools is very common. These
are spoon, stick, sword-shield, knife, drum, kabak, riddle, handkerchief, candle,
reaping hook, animal pelt, plate, tambourine, pot cover, blanket, bell, mirror,
helke and etc.
which is one of the mostly used tool, is generally used in the western part
of the country both by women and men. It isn’t seen in the other regions because
in those regions the dances are performed by holding hand in hand.
The dances with
sword-shield are about fight and war. They are performed by men. As there had
been some injuries and events resulting with fights during the dance, it has
left its place to sticks (Elazığ-Şanlıurfa). The sword-shield dances that are
supposed to be played with music in the past are played only in Bursa today
without a musical instrument.
Turkish folk dances are being determined according to the provinces by individuals,
institutions and foundations besides the researches made by HAGEM and they are
being staged for activities such as competitions and festivals. However, factors
such as organization and costumes arise while they are being staged and various
implementations are being on this subject. The scenes here are examples for
these implementations. HAGEM has made a study of documenting folk dances in
30 provinces with video since 1986 and this still continues as a project. The
materials achieved after the work such as video bands, audio bands, slights
and written documents are at the Folk Culture Archive and are presented to the
researchers and scientists working on folk dances. Problems
Faced During the Stage of Turkish Folk Dances Symposium was held in 1987, Problems
Faced During the Teaching of Turkish Folk Dances Symposium was held in 1990
and Problems Faced During the Arrangement of Turkish Folk Dances Symposium was
held in 1999 jointly with the universities with the aim of finding a solution
to the problems faced in the field of folk dances.
Various books and
articles are being issued related with the subject. The publications below can
be given as an example.
of Turkish Folk Dances (2 volumes)
2. Turkish Folk Melodies (2 volumes)
of the Problems Faced During the Stage of Turkish Folk Dances Symposium
4. Declarations of Problems Faced During the Teaching of Turkish
Folk Dances Symposium
5. Turkish Brass and Woodwind Instruments
6. Turkish Percussion
7. International Turkish Folk Congress- Dance, Music, Entertainment
Session Declarations (3 volumes)
8. Egin Melodies
9. Tümbelek Method
2nd picture: Gaziantep-Halay
3rd picture: Afyon
4th picture: Bursa-Sword Shield
5th picture: Konya
6th 7th 8th pictures: Kütahya
9th picture: Sivas
10th picture: Ordu