- 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.
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.