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Marvel at the mystique of whirling dervishes as they gracefully dance the ceremonial ‘sema’ Mevlevi at the emblematic Hodjapasha Dance Theater in Istanbul. Enjoy a cultural evening in Istanbul during this age-old performance of choreographed spiritual dancing accompanied by traditional music and Persian chanting. Before the show, set the mood with Turkish delight and a drink at the bar. Then, admire the dervishes as they elegantly twist and turn in their white flowing gowns. 

Highlights

  • 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

Whirling Dervish Show in Istanbul

Whirling Dervish Show in Istanbul

Arrive in the neighborhood of Sirkeci and step into the Hodjapasha Dance Theater for your Istanbul Whirling Dervish Show. Enjoy the architecture of this 15th century building, originally used for Turkish baths and now home to ceremonial performances and traditional Turkish dance. Head to the bar and indulge in a few pieces of Turkish delight and a drink (own expense) before taking your seat in the main hall for your 1.5-hour show.

Kick-off the show with 15 minutes of wonderful traditional Turkish music. Then, witness a company of semazens (or whirling dervishes) perform the Mevleviye sema dance. Watch as this 800 year-old ritualistic dance is performed over 45 minutes. Observe these expressive Dervish’s whirl and glide along and see why this dance is included on UNESCO’s Intangible World Heritage List.

Feel the passion of the dance as each Dervish spins in a choreographed motion like a white top to Persian and classical Turkish music. Hear the kettledrum, flute, and cymbal conducted by the theater’s musicians and enjoy ancient Persian prayers and poetic songs.

Once the performance concludes, feel free to remain at the venue to relax with a drink or a snack at your own expense. 

Customer Reviews

Adam W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

I always feel a bit uncomfortable seeing a religious experience / ritual turned into a tourist spectacle, but if it is to be done, these guys find a good tasteful way to do it. Not sure if there are competing dervish shows in Istanbul, but attend this one with confidence.

Andrew A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

It was beautiful and moving. I highly recommend it for anyone who appreciates people expressing their spirituality.

Gardo

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Enchanting.

Carl P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This show is incredible and mesmerizing. I have never seen anything quite like it. Well worth a trip during your time in istanbul.

Aman G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Brilliant - Definitely Worth Experiencing!!!

William B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

The Whirling Dervishes were truly spiritual. The venue was small enough to make the experience intimate and personal. We recommend this experience whole-heartedly to all visitor to Istanbul.

Gretl V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

It was a truly spiritual experience

elsavdbyl

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This was an amazing experience, not to be missed. I was impressed by the information related before and during the presentation, and the and #39;non -touristy and #39; atmosphere. Highly recommended if you and #39;re open to an alternative experiencie.

Debra R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Wonderful setting and ceremony--well worth money, time, and effort to locate theater

Maryan F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Very interesting show but I loved it. Amazing how they can perform 45 mins without getting dizzy. I would recommend for people who wonders what Whirling Dervish is. Others may find it slow but I loved it. Unfortunately we can't take photos.

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