Horon folk danceThe origins of Anatolian folk dances go back far into the past, when they were part of divine festivities. This is evident in the sin-sin which is danced at night and takes its name from the moon goddess Sin. Other dances, too, such as the Düz Halay of Sivas, the Basbar of Erzurum, the Bengu of Bergama, the Türkmen kizi (Türkmen's daughter) of Corum, the Topal Kosma of Kastamonu, the Güvende of Bursa, the Harmandali, Arpazli and Yalabik of Kozak and Kasikci, and the Horon and Siskara of Trabzon were all part of sacred rituals.
The shared theme of folk dances is the display of courage, the movements are an expression of natural character, and their purpose is to pass down messages from generation to generation in the passage of social life, as well as to liven up communal events such as holidays, festivals and weddings with increment, costume, voice, music and rhythm.
The way the dancers sweep upwards, tighten ranks, open up their arms like wings, or strike their knees on the ground: the sounds of drum and fife, bagpipes, and kemence: the shouts, and joining arm, hand and shoulder, all have their symbolic meanings.
The origin of the horon dances of the Black Sea coast is the ancient koron-horon of pagan worship. This word comes from hur-kor, meaning sun. Researchers have identified over fifty variations on the horon in a single region. These dances demand exceptional speed, agility and skill in the dancers, who are generally accompanied by the kemence.