- 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
Recent Photos of This Tour
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 tour was amazing!
We loved the whirling dervish show after we found the theater. The theater was tucked away on a small street several streets removed from the main throughfare in the area. Precise directions to the theater from some landmark such as the Aya Sophia church would have been nice. The performance was mesmerizing and we enjoyed it and the accompanying music very much.
Make sure you get good directions! We walked for nearly an hour trying to find it! Not for children. This is a spiritual observance and is not a show. No photography and applause is not appropriate. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Time for dinner afterwards.
The tour was excellent! And the guide just perfect! Highly recommended!
Well worth going to, once we'd found the location! The booklet, along with the information projected onto the walls, provided ample information about the performance.
Very impressive and exciting to learn about and share this experience.
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.