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Streetswings Dance History Archives: Horon
Horon Dance

         Anatolia (Aνατολή), which means East in Greek, which is now modern Turkey, was the heartland of Byzantium before the Ottoman invasion. The Anatolian folk dance called the Horon dance of the Black Sea is the ancient koron-horon, originally of pagan worship which was to become a sacred ritual dance and was performed by men only. Their are many different types of this dance in different regions with the Horon word coming from hur-kor, meaning 'Sun' or horom meaning a line of six or seven corn stalks all tied together to form a lattice... Which looks like people joined together with arms raised.

      The Horon is generally danced by a chain of either men or women who form a line or semi-circle. The Horon has one of the most characteristic movements which is a fast shoulder shimmy (tremoulo) and a trembling of the entire body and

sudden squats, which imitates ... or suggests the movements of a fish called the hamsi (a type of anchovy) as it swims in the sea or struggles in the nets for its life. When men and women link arms and perform together as a couple, the dance is often referred to as Rahat, (comfortable horon) which is slower and simpler in its patterns. Horons are danced to music of the cura zurna, cura davul, tulum, kemence, koltuk davulu, and even the accordion.

     Many Pontian dances are almost identical in steps to Greek dances. Pontian dances also resemble Persian and Middle Eastern dances in that they are not led, with no single leader in the dance formation. This is different from Greek dances but is a widespread aspect of Persian and Middle Eastern dances.

Wikipedia states: "The rapid shoulder and upper body movements from the waist is said to have evolved from the modern Turkish version dating to recent centuries. These movement are said to have derived from the shimmying of the little silver anchovy fish (Turkish: Hamsi) found in mass abundance in the Black Sea, which has worked its way into an inseparable part of northern Anatolian culture. As Pontian populations, were exposed to these dances later, it is said that long sea journeys and merchant exchanges, or perhaps throughout the migration of troops as far away as Ireland en route to the Holy Land were also exposed to these dance styles. It is thought the Irish jig and even its modern version, the River Dance, may have its roots from this exposure." (end wiki).

This dance, although somewhat different from its Pagan days is still danced and is recognizable by its music and up-raised arms, Shimmy's and kicks.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

Asia Minor / Turkey Ancient Fishermen Ritual / Folk / Round

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

n/a n/a Cobanin sevdasi
            Karadeniz sofrasi
            Mili Horon Havasi (Ziye Sadi)
            Omuz halayi

Night Clubs



n/a n/a Asia Minor (Antolia)
            Black Sea Region
Video Clips (pop-up)

Related Films


Ballets / Stage

Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1898 - Turkish Dance, Ella Lola n/a n/a
Video Clip not available at this time 1899 - Dance in a Turkish Harem        
Video Clip not available at this time 1901 - Turkish Dance        
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1904 - Princess Rajah Dance        
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1936 - Dance, Dance Daraiko      


Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1969 - Tesnif Old Azeri Movie       n/a

Other Related Dances of the time...

Adiyaman (Euphrates) Cokertme Kasik Oyunu Satioglu
Ardic Arasi Comlek Kirdiran Bogazi Kasikci Shimmy
Ardicliktir Evleri Daldalan Kastamonu Shield Dance of Bursa
Arpazli Davulcular Keklik (Turkey) Siksaray
Artvin Dances (E. Anatolia) Delilo Kilic Kalkan Silifkenin Yogurdu
Atabari Dokuzlu (only men) Kirat Simsim
Azimem Dut Agaci Kivrak Kerimoglu Sirinnar
Bakoz Düz Halay of Sivas Kiz Horonlari Siskara of Trabzon
Balikcilar Elmas (E. Anatolia) Kiz Sallama Sword Dance of Bursa
Bar's (E. Anatolia) Evlerine Ben Varamadim Kiz Sallama Horonu Temuraga
Basbar of Erzurum Evlerinin Onu Kizik Halayi Tonya
Belin Basi Fatmali Halay Koroglu Topal Kosma of Kastamonu
Bengu of Bergama Galuc Kozan Gel Tosun Mehmet
Bicak Oyunu Giresun Karsilamasi Laz Berber Türkmenkizi of Corum
Buyukceviz (only women) Güvende of Bursa Mani Ucayak
Candarli Halay's (Anatolia) Meryem & his Hisi Hancer Yalabik of Kozak
Candir Tufek Oyunu Harmandali Oguzlu Yansin Bodrum
Cayda cira Hoplatma Otme Bulbul Yayla Yollari
Cek Deveci Hora (cyclic dance) Rahat YenlikHoronu
Cekirge Horon Kurma Romaiika Zaptiyeler-Hantuman
Cepikli Kacar Sabahin Seher Vakti Zerdali
Ceymakcur Karadut Sallangel Zeybek (Aegean coast)
Ciftetelli Kars (E. Anatolia) Samah (Mevlevi dervish)  

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


n/a n/a n/a

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


n/a n/a n/a n/a




Poets / Writers

n/a n/a Chrisantho Theodoridis n/a

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

halkiyat Kemence (Violin) Upper and Lower Beth Horon  
Horoni, Horon or Horom zurna and duval players Jerusalem Turkish, Armenians, Laz, Georgians
  GREKOS Mushqebi