Turkey has a very ancient folk dance tradition, which varies from region to region, each dance being colorful, rhythmic, elegant, and stylish. Some of the most famous dances; Bar, Halay, Hora, Zeybek, Horon, Kilic Kalkan, Kasik Oyunu.
Turkey has a rich tradition of folk dancing with dances performed at all social occasions, from weddings and celebrations held for young men leaving for military service, to national and religious festivals, or local festivities.
Each region has its dances which reflect the cultural life of that region. Some of the most famous dances are the Bar, originating from the province of Erzurum, the Halay in the East and Southeast, the Hora in Thrace, the Zeybek in the Aegean, the Horon in the Black Sea, and the Kasik Oyunu in and around Konya.
In this Aegean dance, colorfully dressed male dancers, called Efe, symbolize courage and heroism. Zeybek dance is formed, in general, of 9/8 measures and has a variety of tempos such as very slow, slow, fast, and very fast. It is rendered by one person or two or by a group of people.
Horon appears very different from the folk dances in other parts of Turkey with its formation of tempo, rhythm, and measure. This typical Black Sea dance is performed, in general, by groups and their characteristic measure is 7/16, dressed in black with silver trimmings. The dancers link arms and quiver to the vibrations of the kemence, a primitive type of violin.
Halay is a part of Turkish dance and is performed to a large extent in Eastern, Southeastern, and Central Anatolia and it is one of the most striking dances. It has a rich figure structure of simplicity is the symbol of creation and originality of the folk. You may experience all the measures and rhythmic elements of Turkish folk music in the halay melodies.
Kilic Kalkan of Bursa represents the Ottoman conquest of the city. It is performed by men only, dressed in early Ottoman battle dress, who dance to the sound of clashing swords and shields without music.
Hora is a kind of wedding music with melodic and rhythmic structure and with a fast performance facing one another and different cultural structure of the region and the dominant measure is 9/8 but some other measures are used as well.
Kasik Oyunu 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.