Ömer Ongun,  a dancer, choreographer and body musician,  a member of Bogazici Performing Arts Ensemble (BGST) and Kardeş Türküler  Songs of Fraternity)  who will be visiting from Istanbul / Turkey will teach and present some of the most beautiful folk dances of Anatolia through two power-packed workshops.

Folk Dance Workshop 1: From Balkans to Mesopotamia (9:00 am-12:00 pm) 
Part 1: Halay is a group of traditional hand-holding dances from Southeastern Turkey and the Middle East. In the first part of the workshop, we will learn basic steps and movements of traditional Kurdish halays known as Govends including Delilo and Şemamé from Eastern and Southeastern regions of Turkey. Govends are part of weddings, religious rituals, celebrations, festivals, harvests and even protests. Let’s enjoy this unique dance experience together!
Part 2: The 9/8 rhythm of the Roma music is unusual and unique. The form of dance speaks to one on the level of the heart, and that’s why so many love to dance it, even if they are not from the Roma culture. In this part, we will start by exploring the complex rhythms of Roma Gypsy dances from Balkan region of Turkey and Istanbul, learn various steps and movements, see the dance as the compensation for the everyday tough life of Romas and experience the dance as the expression of beliefs, passions, problems, joy and rebellion.

Folk Dance Workshop 2: SemahCircles (1:30-4:30 pm) 
Semahs can be described as a set of mystical and aesthetic body movements in rhythmic harmony in Alevi-Bektashi rituals. Various forms of Semah exist in Alevi-Bektashi communities across Turkey, each with distinct musical characteristics and rhythmic structures. In this workshop, we explore semah rituals from Tokat, Dersim and Erzincan of Turkey, learn the steps and movements and perform together.

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