TURKISH FOLK DANCE - HALAY
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TURKISH NATIONAL FOLK DANCE - HALAY

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The Halay folk dance has been around since the beginning of the Assyrian Empire. It is now considered to be Turkey's national dance. The Halay is danced by people gathered in either a circle or a line. All participants hold on to one another by the hand or dance shoulder to shoulder. The music for the dance is performed on drums as well as zurnas, a loud, double reed wind instrument, and often will include pipes, smaller reeds, and other native musical instruments.


The Halay was traditionally only danced by men at wedding ceremonies, but it is now used in other celebrations as well. It is very rhythmic, and is generally based on a stiff standing pose and a quick bending of the knees. Everyone involved moves as one person. As the dance progresses, people will add their own hops, shakes, and pauses. Occasionally folk songs are sung along with the movement. The Halay is a great show of the talent and inventiveness of the participants.

 

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