Friday, April 26, 2013
“Fire of Anatolia” at Katara
Last night a Turkish friend of mine invited me to watch a Turkish dance production that was at Katara for one night only. Called “Fire of Anatolia” the group is apparently well-known in Turkey, conducting performances of traditional dances from all the regions of Turkey, albeit with some modern choreography. Needless to say there were a lot of Turks in the audience, and loudspeaker announcements were made in English, Arabic and Turkish.
The show took place at the amphitheater at Katara, the first time I've attended an event there. I took a couple of pictures before the show started as they said you weren't allowed to take pictures during the show. The pictures are from well before the start of the show so there were a lot more people in the audience than the pictures would indicate.
It was a big dance troupe, I think at one point I counted almost 50 dancers. It was a very athletic performance, with elements of ballet and modern dance blended in with the traditional folk dances.
As promised there were energetic performances of traditional dances. It was surprising how varied the dances were but my friend and his wife were able to immediately note which region of Turkey the dances originated from, for example meditative Sufi-inspired dances from Konya, line dances similar to traditional Irish dancing (lots of leg work with the little upper-body movement)from the Istanbul region and an even more intensive one from the Black Sea region, belly-dancing, a traditional dance from Izmit, and a dance with powerful leaps and spins from the northeastern mountains with clear similarities to other dances from the Caucuses.
At one point during the second half it started raining! I got a little worried for the dancers lest they slip and fall but "the show must go on” as they say, and it did not appear to affect the performance. For the dance from the Black Sea region they seem to take advantage of it, a couple of times some gentlemen were using the rain to slide on the stage.
I enjoyed the performance, it was great to see such a variety of dances at one show. My friend as promised when I next visit Turkey he will take me to see some traditional dancing from the Bursa and Ankara regions.
Searching for "Fire of Anatolia" on youtube gets lots of videos, look at this one and go to around the 9:00 mark for an example of the Black Sea dance.