HIDRELLEZ – MOST FAMOUS AND THE BIGGEST ROMANI DANCE AND MUSIC FESTIVAL IN TURKEY!
A REAL ROMANI EXPERIENCE IN TURKEY!
Are you ready to experience a glimpse of the Romani culture in Turkey? Oriental Istanbul is taking you to a wonderful and unique journey in Turkey where you will enjoy a great week full of Romani dance, culture and street parties.
You will be taught the technique and style of the Romany dance from master teachers Artemis Mourat, Serap Su and Reyhan Tuzsuz. After going through an intense course in Istanbul, we will travel to Edirne, the heart of the Gypsy community in Turkey to celebrate Hidrellez together with the locals in town.
Enjoy dinner with a local Gypsy band in the festival field in Edirne!
What is Hidrellez and how is it celebrated?
Hidrellez is the traditional early spring festival, celebrating the awakening of the nature, every year throughout Anatolia. It is believed that every wish you make tonight will be accepted, as tonight prophet Hizir comes to give help to those who need it.
Hidrellez is a very important day for Romanys and is celebrated all through the night with street parties. The streets bustle with Gypsy music bands and crowds dancing to the 9/8 rhythm. The tradition is to jump over a fire and make a wish. You can also write or draw your wish and bury it under a plant or tie it on a tree branch. Also in Edirne, the Romany people have the tradition to go by the river very early in the morning to take a ritual dip in the cold water.
Learn the technique and the spirit of Romany Dance during intense workshops with;
Reyhan, once a housewife but an extraordinary Romani dancer living in Istanbul is now very famous among dancers who are determined to learn this dance from a real Romani woman. Her dance style is strong, natural, real and beautiful.
She accepts students from all around the world during the year and she also travels abroad to spread her skills around. Even though with limited English, she is able to teach her students not only the technique but also the feeling of this fabulous dance. Reyhan teaches by doing.
Each of her lessons include a dynamic movement vocabulary, presented with positive energy and laughter.
Artemis has been dancing, teaching and researching dance history in the United States and abroad for her entire adult life. Artemis is of Greek and Turkish descent. She fuses her love of these cultures with strong academic knowledge and excellent dance technique. She brings her spirited and articulate technique to workshops which include information on the history and cultures that generate the dances she teaches. She believes that we can all use art to build bridges across cultures.
Artemis has contributed to many publications. Extensive travel to 33 countries and intensive research into the idioms of the East, women's issues, psychology, ancient history, oriental dance, Romany (Gypsy) dance and dance ethnologyhave yielded many manuscripts and articles.
Serap Su was born in Istanbul, Turkey, started to perform folkloric dance in 1980. In 1990 she became dance instructor in various school and public education centers. She first got acquainted with belly dancing in 1995. She received lessons from famous dancers like Nesrin Topkapi and Sema Yildiz and performed in the most popular venues of Turkey.
In 2003 she won her first award in an Oriental Dance competition. Serap Su performed and held workshops in many festivals and different countries. She regularly performs in Kervansaray Restaurant Istanbul. Her style reaches from classical Egyptian and Turkish style over Turkish folk and modern style to Roman dance style. She is one of the most wanted CHOREOGRAPHER in Turkey.Her audience calls her “The Queen of The Turkish Bellydance”
Her Teaching style:
Belly dance Egyptian or Turkish style technique, professional choreographies, single or double veil, stick (cane) or double stick (cane), tabla rhythm, tamborine, Sword, finger cymbals (zill), foot and hand technique, stage style tecnique, Turkish gypsy (roman) dance and roman dance foot technique, Turkish folk dance KARSILAMA, Turkish classical bellydance or Turkish modern style bellydance, Raqs Sharki and CIFTETELLI.
Things to know
How did we plan our program?
Romany dance is a street dance so people usually learn it by watching others dancing from childhood, but for us adults ( AND foreigners! ) it is not easy to master in a short time.
So, we have Artemis who can breakdown basics and techniques in English and in her own style, then, we have Reyhan's lesson to experience authentic dance while we can implement what we have learned in previous lessons. Serap Su and Gigi Dilsah will show combinations of Romani and Turkish Oriental.
Not enough dancing? We can also arrange private/semi private lessons for you.
Lady Diana Hotel:
Our hotel in Istanbul is a pretty, boutique property in Sultanahmet, located in the heart of the old city.
One of the newest hotels in town. You will enjoy a nice stay and it's central location is definitely a plus, especially when you want to go to bed late at night after the street parties.
May 1, Sunday
Welcome to Istanbul. Upon your arrival, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner in famous fish restaurant district of Istanbul, Kumkapi. You will meet your teachers and the rest of the group tonight as well as enjoying a lovely dinner and live music from Gypsy musicians.
May 2, Monday
Today we will begin our classes, learning techniques and styles of Romany dance. You will be transferred to our modern and large studio to spend the first part of the day dancing, dancing and dancing..
10:00 - 12:00 Workshop with Reyhan < Raw Roman >
12:30 - 14:30 Workshop with Artemis <Roman technique and combinations>
Turkish Romany is a street dance in dance. Experience authentic Roman dance that people actually dance at weddings and parties!
After the class, we go back to the hotel and the rest of the day is your free time!
It's a perfect opportunity to take a private class from one of Oriental Istanbul teachers, pay a visit to Grand Bazaar and shop until you drop, or enjoy a traditional Turkish Bath treat.
Optional Field Trip 1: Tonight, you have the option of joining us for a dinner at Kervansaray Restaurant and watch some of the best Turkish belly dancers and Turkish Folk dancers in town including our teacher Serap Su and Asena.
May 3, Tuesday
Our day starts with another 2-hour workshop with Artemis Mourat.
10:00 - 12:00 Workshop with Artemis <Zill>
This afternoon is free at your leisure. Why not join our optional class with Gigi Dilsah?
12:30 - 14:30 *Workshop with Gigi Dilsah <Turkish Oryantal >. *optional
Optional Field Trip 2: Watch a breathtaking Turkish dance show inside the magical atmosphere of a historical Turkish Bath, Hodjapasha Cultural Center. Amongst the dancers is our beloved teacher Gigi Dilsah.
Evening is free at your leisure for dinner and getting ready for big day tomorrow.
May 4, Wednesday
A morning full of dancing. After breakfast and check out, we will leave our hotel and head to studio.
10:00 - 12:00 Workshop with Artemis <Zill choreo >
12:30 - 14:30 Workshop with Serap Su <Roman Oryantal fusion >
After our class, we will be on our way to Edirne. Our trip will take 3 hours and upon arrival and check in to the hotel, the evening is free to explore the town and taste the famous meatballs of the town.
May 5, Thursday
This is the big day!
Our day starts with another 2-hour workshop with Artemis.
10:00 - 12:00 Workshop with Artemis <Roman choreo>
Free time in the the afternoon. A great chance to visit Selimiye Mosque, the masterpiece of Architect Sinan and many historical bazaars in the town. Make sure to taste the famous cheese dessert of Edirne.
16:00 We’re meeting at the hotel and heading to the festival area to be there for the ignition of the famous Hidrellez fire. Jump over the fire 3 times and your wish will come true! This is the real thing! You will spend tonight amongst the Romany locals of Edirne dancing, having fun and celebrating the major event of the year, Hidrellez.
Our dinner will be prepared at the festival site, and we are throwing our own party with our very own local Gypsy band. The locals of the town will also join us for fun.
May 6, Friday
We are rising very early this morning as one of the most important rituals of all Gypsy communities takes place. Just before the sunrise, we will arrive by the river to witness the purity ceremony. Young Gypsy girls come along with their wedding dresses and young Gypsy boys dip in the cold river. Write your wish on a piece of white paper and throw it in the flowing river to make sure it comes true.
Afternoon is at your leisure in Edirne. Unless you want to explore the rest of the town, we have 2 great optional activities for you:
10:30 - 12:30 Enjoy a 2-hour folklore dance class with a local teacher from Edirne.
13:30 - 15:30 Edirne is also famous with its quality vineyards. Today’s lunch is at one of the nicest vineyards of the region, Arda Vineyards. Enjoy a barbeque lunch with handmade meze dishes followed by a tour of the winery and wine tasting.
May 7, Saturday
This morning, according to the flight times of the passengers, we will leave Edirne and drive back to Istanbul. Those who are leaving today, will be transferred to the airport. If you want to extend your stay, you can book extra accommodation for tonight.
IMPORTANT: Please book an afternoon flight, preferably after 4 pm if you are returning on the 7th of May. If you are not able to book an earlier flight, then please arrange your stay until 8th May.
PP in DBL: € 890
Single Sup: € 240
Companion Price (without workshops): € 590
Extra Night in Istanbul:
PP in DBL: € 55
Single Sup: € 40
3 nights BB accommodation in Special Class Lady Diana Hotel in Istanbul
3 nights BB accommodation in 4* Edirne Palace Hotel in Edirne
Round trip airport transfers and all transport in air-conditioned, deluxe vehicles
8 hours Romany Dance class (introduction, technique and choreo) by master teacher Artemis Mourat
2 hours Romany Dance class by Reyhan Tuzsuz
2 hours Romany & Turkish Oriental fusion class by Serap Su
Use of a modern studio with mirrors during the classes
6 breakfasts, 1 welcome dinner, 1 dinner with in Edirne Festival area
Hidrellez Festival experience with Gypsy community in Edirne
Service charges, parking fees, 18% VAT
Price does not Include:
Tips for guide and driver
Meals that are not mentioned in the itinerary
Personal expenses and purchases
I always have a great time with Oriental Istanbul tours as guest teacher, knowing my students will be hosted very well in stunning parts of Turkey and its makes my work so easy and pleasureful.. One of the best and warmest organizers I ever worked internationally. Strongly Recommended! - Ozgen / 2011, 2012, 2013 Teacher
THE perfect tour: very rare & unique - detailed instruction by Ozgen, real roman by Reyhan + local festival in Edirne. How can be better than that! Really appreciate the flexibility about stay & activities. All people in the tour are nice, friendly and helpful - pleasurable all the time. Most of all Burcu and Yoko did such a great job organizing & leading us - easy going yet professional, they know tourism and dancing well. Plus, Ozgen is the great instructor as well as our travel buddy - fun & positive energy, multi tasking (waiter, guide, entertainer etc.. ;) ) Can't wait for the next year! - Akiko Tanikawa / 2012 & 2013, Student
Oriental Istanbul is a wonderful company. They are welcoming, helpful, knowledgeable and very accommodating. I would recommend them without hesitation! - Artemis Mourat / 2013, Teacher
Wonderful and unforgettable experience, loved every moment! Will definitely return to Istanbul! hoping to see you all again! - Itsumi Suganuma / 2012, Student
The Hidrellez Festival Tour that I attended in May 2012 was fantastic and then the November 2013 Cappadoica and Istanbul expereince was amazing too ! You have an amazing talent of providing incredible cultural learning experiences by combining excellent tours, information and fun . - your tours have made me long to discover more of Turkey and I just adore Turkey and long to come back !Debra Dimancesco
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