Turkish style

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chryssanthi sahar

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Dear Aisha.

I wouldn't put the Roma dances in the category "belly dance". They are a category on its own. I don't know what kind of Turkish belly dance is being taught in the States, but what I have seen in Turkey itself and from Turkish belly dancers in Germany, as well as what I have on my Turkish belly dance videos, most of which I had bought in Instanbul, is definitely less complex (especially technically) than the Egyptian style. The same is true for the traditional Turkish belly dance music (I'm not talking about the classical Turkish music, this is very complex). I own quite some CDs with Turkish belly dance music and, believe it or not, it IS monotone and this endless clarinet parts just drive you crazy (even me as a Greek, who grow up with very similar sounds:D ). Even the Turks themselves don't like it anymore, that's why you hardly find Turkish dancers today, performing on traditional Turkish belly dance music. Almost all of them perform with Arabian music or modern fusions.
 

Kiraze

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Turkish music and dance

...I own quite some CDs with Turkish belly dance music and, believe it or not, it IS monotone and this endless clarinet parts just drive you crazy (even me as a Greek, who grow up with very similar sounds:D )...
This is so true and also sad - nowadays best "traditional" Turkish dance music can be found in America and not in Turkey - in Turkey there are lots of great drum solo CD:s but dance music is mostly either boring Arab pop á la Mezdeke or these boring synthesized versions of traditional music... some excellent music can be found with genuine instruments etc. but not usually under titles "belly dance", "oryantal" etc so you really must know what you are looking for:(

One thing about Turkish music and dancing I always wonder is what for dancers in Turkey do not use "sanat"-music or even "arabesk" music for dancing as these are the styles where Turkish music is at its best and there are wonderful singers like Orhan Gencebay, Ferdi Tayfur, Ibrahim Tatlises, Bülent Ersoy, Ebru Gündes, Sibel Can etc. whose music would be perfect for dancing (even at Ibo show dancers always dance to the boring music and that is the reason that also they look boring...)
 

Bettina

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My pleasure, Michelle. My teacher referred me to this workshop saying that it is not one to be missed. So I am making every effort to attend.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Turkish

Dear Chyrssanthi,
I am aware that Rom and belly dance are two different styles of dance, (though Jennet says that MOST belly dancers in Istanbul are actually Rom.) I have some very complex pieces of Turkish music. I suspect that dancers are using Turkish pop, just as Egyptians are now using pop to dance at times. For me, it is okay if you are using great modern music like Warda or Hani Shakur, but much of Egytian pop is also simplistic and repetitive, no changes in tempo, mood, rythm or other apects of the music. Wpuld you say it is the same for Turkish music??
Regards,
A'isha
 

chryssanthi sahar

New member
Dear Aisha.

I must quote Kiraze, who seems to be an expert on Turkish music:
" some excellent music can be found with genuine instruments etc. but not usually under titles "belly dance", "oryantal" etc so you really must know what you are looking for "
So I suppose the music you have, is probably not Turkish belly dance music, but rather classical Turkish music. But to be honest, I am not expert on this kind of Turkish music. I only know belly dance and Rom music and some Folklore music (like the music from the Black Sea area, because it is the same with the Greek music from the Black Sea area). So it is only the belly dance music, I find monotone and boring. I've heard some classical Turkish music, which I liked a lot, because it was very complex, skillful and emotional, but Turks don't dance on this music. I don't know why and I don't know, if a non-Turkish belly dancer should dare to dance on the classical music. One should get very well informed about the meaning of this music among the Turkish people, before one dances on it.
As about the modern Arabian music on which Arabian belly dancers of today perform, I agree with you: it is boring and actually only good enough for in between (or for beginners). I find it o.k. if a pop-baladi song is part of a longer routine, but I find it unacceptable for a professional dancer to perform only with such music. A dancer who claims to dance Arabian style and cannot dance the classic pieces is not a good dancer. Sorry if I offend some people telling this, but this is why I am member of the BOBs:D
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Turkish, etc.

Dear Chryssanthi,
Thanks for your input about Turkish music. I am still in the process of learning and consider myself just above a beginner in this style. I studied Turkish years ago but then pretty much began a journey of great depth into Egup[tian belly dance, which is where my heart lies, and put aside other styles of belly dance, though I continued in my folkloric studies. I am now studying Turkish belly dance in more depth, but will probably not have enough time in my life to become a Turkish dancer of great expertise. I am 53 years old and if it is like Egyptian, it takes a lifetime.
Regards,
A'isha

PS: Anatoliy, thanks for the Avatar!!
 

Mark_Balahadia

New member
I'm sorry I'd have to disagree with you completely. Dancing to a Turkish 9/8 song while playing zills is VERY hard. Try having an Arab dance to 9/8 music and they will completely dance off beat. The Ansaq (limping) 9/8 is very complex (there ARE different types besides the fast Karsilama) and most Turks will be able to dance to it without thinking (because it's in their "blood").

Also a lot of Turkish Bands have Rom musicians so a lot of overlap occurs, so they are not exclusively seperate. Many of the famous dancers of Turkey have been rumoured to be of Rom descent.

Although many dancers will perform to Egyptian music, some of the current dancers like Didem DO perform to Turkish Oriental Dance music. One of the best Turkish dancers of all time was Tulay Karaca and she danced to both Turkish and Egyptian music (in Turkish style).

Oh by the way, Tanyeli another famous dancers has performed with Ebru Gündes on huge stages with 70 strong orchestras. She dances to Ebru Gündes more Classical Turkish music.

So I'd have to say your assertions are incorrect.

Well I was not talking about Turkish music in general. Sure there is a lot of very interesting and complex Turkish music, especially from the Ottoman time. I was talking only about traditional Turkish belly dance music. I find it lot more monotone than the Arabian belly dance music. The same is true for the Greek belly dance music (Tsifteteli). Of course I love to dance on Tsifteteli music, because I am Greek, but I don't wonder, if non Greeks are not crazy about dancing with this music:p
By the way, I like also modern Arabian and Turkish music, but only for in between. I hate it, when a dancer performs only with this music. This is a sign, that she doesn't have high dancing skills.
As about Fatima Serin, you are right: she has kind of Egyptian-German mixed style with a touch of Turkish;) She can dance quite well though.
 

Kiraze

New member
Tanyeli´s dancing with huge orchestra is not very typical for Turkish dancers... and I don't know if she has done it often but anyway that is very beautiful. There is a clip of her with Ebru Gündez on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nnOcFv1TXc

Also Asena has danced with classical music but this time it was more "western classical" when she danced with pianist Anjelika Akbar and drummer Misirli Ahmet in "Bach á Orientale" - clip of this can be seen at Anjelika´s web-page under title "orkide": http://www.anjelikaakbar.com/scripts/multimedia/?d=3

But not all Turks can dance karsilama - that rhythm, music and dance are more typical to Trakia and western coast (Zeybek dance also uses typically 9/8 rhythm) and to Romani people and in other areas people mostly have no idea about how to dance to this rhythm (my Central Anatolian hubby have no clue even though he can dance great Horon and Seymenler dances)... anyway, most dancers come from Istanbul so there it is more common to know (but I have never seen any current famous Turkish dancers like Asena, Tanyeli or even Didem dancing karsilama so is it that they cannot or just for reason or other just do not like or whatsoever :rolleyes:)
 

Mark_Balahadia

New member
Tanyeli´s dancing with huge orchestra is not very typical for Turkish dancers... and I don't know if she has done it often but anyway that is very beautiful. There is a clip of her with Ebru Gündez on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nnOcFv1TXc

Also Asena has danced with classical music but this time it was more "western classical" when she danced with pianist Anjelika Akbar and drummer Misirli Ahmet in "Bach á Orientale" - clip of this can be seen at Anjelika´s web-page under title "orkide": http://www.anjelikaakbar.com/scripts/multimedia/?d=3

But not all Turks can dance karsilama - that rhythm, music and dance are more typical to Trakia and western coast (Zeybek dance also uses typically 9/8 rhythm) and to Romani people and in other areas people mostly have no idea about how to dance to this rhythm (my Central Anatolian hubby have no clue even though he can dance great Horon and Seymenler dances)... anyway, most dancers come from Istanbul so there it is more common to know (but I have never seen any current famous Turkish dancers like Asena, Tanyeli or even Didem dancing karsilama so is it that they cannot or just for reason or other just do not like or whatsoever :rolleyes:)
I study with Artemis every Monday (yeah!) and she told me she saw Didem dance at a club to a live Turkish band. And she said that Didem is actually Romani so she probably knows how to dance to a 9/8. FYI...
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Turkish, etc.

Dear Mark and Group,
Jennet, who is currently in Turkey and studies Rom with a Rom family in Istanbul, also states that most belly dancers in Turkey ARE Rom.
Regards,
A'isha
 

chryssanthi sahar

New member
Kiraze, you are absolutely right at every point :)

Mark, 9/8 is not belly dance. It is Karsilama. Those are two different dances, with different techniques, even if people in the States put them in the same category. And there are different ways to dance Karsilama. I don't know if Karsilama is heavy to learn or not, because I grew up with it. We dance it also in Greece in different areas (and different styles), but in my case I learned it from my grandparents from my mother's side, who were Greeks from Turkey (Pontioi from the Black Sea area). My grandfather was a passionate Karsilama dancer.
As about the traditional Turkish belly dance music, sorry, but I still insist that it has lot simpler structure than the Egyptian Raqs Sharqi music. You hardly have rhythm changes and you have one or two very dominant instruments (usually the clarinet), opposite to the Arabian music where you have innumerable rhythm and instrument changes. As I already mentioned, I'm talking only about the belly dance music, not the classical Turkish music from Ottoman times. I've been dancing here in Germany for more than 20 years at innumerable Turkish haflas , always with Turkish live music and believe me, I really know how typical Turkish belly dance music sounds like.
 

Kiraze

New member
I study with Artemis every Monday (yeah!) and she told me she saw Didem dance at a club to a live Turkish band. And she said that Didem is actually Romani so she probably knows how to dance to a 9/8. FYI...
Mark, You are so lucky to study with Artemis!:)

Yep, I know that Didem is Rom but of current "stars" she probably is the only one... Asena definately is not Rom and I doubt that Tanyeli would be... and Oya is Russian - not sure about Birgül though... but naturally there are lots of less known dancers of who many are Rom as of many singers are - but it is very hard to know who is or who is not as they look and dress similar ways with rest of the Turks and have also Turkish names so I guess also that some dancers just say to be Rom to somehow prove to have dance "in their blood" -I know some less well know dancers on the other areas of Turkey but Istanbul and none of them are Rom:confused:

But anyway, it is great if Didem dances also karsilama at some live shows as at TV´s Ibo show she always dances to similar modern drum solo emphasized boring music and her dancing looks always similar with every music so in my eyes she is boring as a dancer... would love to see her live though so maybe after that I would give also more credit to her.:rolleyes:
 

chryssanthi sahar

New member
Hello all.

The fact that most Turkish belly dancers are Rom, doesn't make Rom dances part of the belly dance. Maybe only the opposite is true: Turkish belly dance might be part of the Turkish Rom dances, but Rom dances are not necessarily part of the belly dance. If you think that those dances belong together, then you should call the whole complex "Turkish dances". In Egyptian style for example, you wouldn't really count the folklore basket dance or the Tanura to belly dance, would you?
By the way, Kiraze, I also have seen some video clips of Didem and I feel the same way like you. She can dance well, but she dances monotone (also due to the music).
 
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Miss_Winnii

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Most teachers will teach some Turkish dance? I love Turkish dance and I learned it from the same teacher who teached me Egyptian, algerian and Libanese...
 

ESMERALDA

New member
Hello from Turkey-Some replys

I am Turkish.As ı understand from the preview posts ans as my english gives permission I will try to say something.First I think roman is totally different what we call oryantal. (oriental) Didem is the most talented oriental dancer I have ever watched all my life.Because she is originally roman.and romans learn dancing and singing before they learn reading and writing.she says she dances since she was seven.She is so so elastic.I dont agree that she is boring.Every week in İboshow she prepares different choreography (combines the dance styles)She always tries to bring something new.
One question about classical Turkish music and why dont people dance in that music.I have studied 4 years Turkish Classical Music. The concept in turkish music is very serious.İn some songs there are parts that I can dance oriental.But I cant do.Something coming deep inside me prevents me to dance.I can not give name to it.This is maybe the dicipline that your Turkish traditions give you.(Leyla bir özgecandır) for example is a classical Turkish song.İn the refrain part of the song yes you can dance but it is so little part.The rest is so slow then will you stop? Besides The attitude when singing these songs are very very serious. I guess this can be the reason.
I dont know much about the oriental or belly dance styles yes but I have watched the Egyptian style. As an original Turk, I didnt like it so much.May be I am wrong but I think that in that style the body isolation and elastic movement is not so much.İn turkish style the upper body especially is so isolated and you must be very elastic for making the movements.some of the dancers I watched in videos do the figures but since they are not using their waist,hips,torso so well, this doesnt come to me a delicious dance.I think the key to oriental dance is being so elastic, and control of the body isolation movements.improvisation is becoming so important in oriental dance.and when the earthenware kettledrum (darbuka) makes solo, it is something in flamenco dance like duende (spanish name that the dancer is over excited.only rhythm and her body.) You must put your heart in your dance.One can make latin in a certain level with special figures even she/he doesnt feel the music.But in oriental if you dont feel you cant dance.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Turkish etc.

Dear Esmerelda,
And not only do people have to "feel" the music, as in having an emotional response; they also have to have an understanding of the dance as a culturally oriented endeavor. Turkish dance has a whole different emotional and cultural "feel" than Egyptian, as an example.
Thank you for your observations above.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Nayila

New member
Wow!!

Although three years may seem like a long time to dance, it is not. I have only trained in classical egyptian with a little of egyptian folk and have naturally fused african and even latin dances into my own personal dance expression. I have been dying to see good turkish style and will definitely shell out now for artemis's video. I want to say that I have learned more reading the posts in this thread than i have in looking on the internet for weeks. Turkish style, save for the "turkish drop' is not popular in my circles of dancers in the southeast USA at all so I thought that basic movements and some basic Rom movements would be nice to add to my repertoire.

I will say that i thought that karsilama was also a greek rhythm. 9/8 is ridiculously hard for not only Arabs (like Mark pointed out) but Africans and there decendants as well. We are definitely used to 4/4 and 3/4 measures and even open measures with no apparent reason to untrained dancers.

this thread was really invaluable! Thanks :D
 

Moon

New member
I've had a few karsilama lessons at my bellydance course now and I like it a lot, the music sounds so hypnotic.
I found this karsilama video on youtube. I recognise some of the steps the dancer is doing, but not everything (ofcourse she is a lot more advanced than I am ;))
Could some of the experts here tell me if this is a good example of karsilama? Thanks.
 
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