Friday, April 5, 2019

Two Variations on the Turkish Dance Esmer

For this brunette I would die.
(Turkish song Esmer)

Esmer is a dance that has caught my attention recently. It is from Turkey.  The Ottoman empire held sway over the Balkans for over 500 years and much of the music of this region has been influenced by Turkish rhythms (aksak). Instruments such as the zurna and davul (tupan) are especially popular in the Pirin region of Bulgaria and in North Macedonia.

The song is about a man who is smitten by a dark-haired woman (esmer translates to brunette in English).   You can find the lyrics to the song here, in Turkish and in German.

Video #1 is the one done in my Sunday dance group.

Video #2 is an instrumental version with different steps, introduced by Ercument Kilic, a folk dance teacher from Ankara. It's energetic, and includes claps and turns not seen in Video #1.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The Zurna in Bulgarian Folk Music

The Haidouks (rebels), including the famous poet, Hristo Botev, were instrumental in the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.

The Haidouks in Bulgarian Folk Songs

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