- 1.5-hour whirling dervish performance in Istanbul
- Enjoy a drink and some Turkish delight as the show starts
- Watch the UNESCO-listed ceremonial dance inside the Hodjapasha Dance Theater
- Be captivated as the semazens dance and chant their way around the stage
- Listen to traditional Persian and Turkish music from a live orchestra
What You Can Expect
After enjoying your beverage, take a seat in the main hall to watch your 1.5-hour show, consisting of a 15-minute Turkish classical music concert followed by a 45-minute Mevleviye sema dance. Performed by a troupe of semazens (or whirling dervishes), the entrancing ceremonial dance is believed to date back as far as 800 years – a fact that helped the dance land a spot on UNESCO’s Intangible World Heritage List.
Watch as the whirling dervishes glide around the stage in a flurry of movement, dancing in time to Persian and traditional Turkish music played by the theater’s orchestra. The flute, kettledrum and cymbal music is accompanied by songs and the chanting of ancient Persian poems and prayers.
The full performance lasts roughly 1.5 hours, and when the dancing finishes you can stay inside the venue to enjoy more drinks, if you wish. All additional food and drinks are at your own expense.
This is simply one of those things you have to truly experience to understand. I booked our tickets through Viator and we got up front seats! We honestly had Dervish skirts brushing our legs as they twirled. Believe me, this isn't merely men twirling around, it's a meditative state they enter....and they DON'T move from their spot as they spin....until they intend to. It's really a wonder to watch.