Dance in Cappadocia

May 2015

(Dance in Cappadocia photographs and Videos)


The home of 'whirling Dervishes' - Chrisandra Harris of Kilikia, rounded us all up and Turgay Onatli (with others) taught the dances. We didn't try whirling this time but we did learn some Semah dances which has the same root.

The dances, taught by Turgay, Ilknur Demirbag, local dance teachers Selahattin and Levant and Gulcay. The dances taught originated from different regions of Turkey. We had live music at every dance session, and a barbeque in the countryside with live music.

The landscape of Cappadocia knocks your socks off! The geological formation started with the eruption of many volcanoes. Erosion led to conic shapes with a harder and wider layer of rock on top 'breaking away' from the main plateau. These structures, often referred to as 'fairy chimneys' fill the valleys. We walked in Rose Valley, Pigeon Valley, Derwent Valley and Ilhara valley, and visited Derinkuyu underground city and the atmospheric Keslik Monastery.

The visit to Hacibektas included the monastery and we were privileged to see a private display of Semah dance in action; it is in fact prayer, and very moving. A video of it which you may like to see:(Semah)

Dance in Cappadocia 2015


Copyright John Douglas