Zeybek dance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Balıkesir zeybek dance
Extension and distribution of folk dances in today’s Turkey

The zeybek is a form of Turkish folk particular to Western, Central and southern Anatolia in Turkey. It originates from two ancient Greek dances, the Dionysiac and the Pyrrhic, and it is named after the Zeybeks.[1] In Greece, the dance is known as Zeibekiko.

The dance is hierarchic, with a group of companions performing it while wearing a particular decorative costume and a typical headdress.[1] A Zeybek band has a leader called efe; the inexperienced young men were called kızans. The term efe is presumably the survivor of the Greek word ephebos.[1]

All zeybek dances have a common characteristic form, but the positioning of the arms and body differ according to the different regions. The rhythm is also very characteristic, a pattern of nine slow beats: 9
= 4 + 4 + 1 beats or 2 + 2 + 2 + 3 with occasional variations.[2]

Zeybek melodies can be divided according to their tempo: ağır (slow) and kıvrak (fast). The ağır zeybek have rhythmic patterns of 9
or 9
, which begin with an introduction called gezinleme in free style where the dancers wander freely before starting to dance in time with the rhythm. There is, however, no gezinleme introduction in female zeybek dances. Kıvrak zeybek have rhythmic patterns of 9
or 9

This dance is popular in Aydin, Izmir, and Denizli.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Meriç, Recep (2017). "Dionysiac and Pyrrhic Roots and Survivals in the Zeybek Dance, Music, Costume and Rituals of Aegean Turkey". Gephyra. 14: 213–239. doi:10.37095/gephyra.318457. ISSN 1309-3924.
  2. ^ Shay, Anthony (2016-10-02). Ethno Identity Dance for Sex, Fun and Profit: Staging Popular Dances Around the World. Springer. ISBN 9781137593184.
  3. ^ "Folk dances of Izmir - All About Turkey". www.allaboutturkey.com. Retrieved 2017-07-05.