Zeybek dance

The zeybek is a form of Turkish folk particular to Western, Central and southern Anatolia in Turkey. It originates from two ancient Greek dances, the Dionysiac and the Pyrrhic, and it is named after the Zeybeks. In Greece, the dance is known as Zeibekiko.


The dance is hierarchic, with a group of companions performing it while wearing a particular decorative costume and a typical headdress. A Zeybek band has a leader called efe; the inexperienced young men were called kızans. The term efe is presumably the survivor of the Greek word ephebos.

All zeybek dances have a common characteristic form, but the positioning of the arms and body differ according to the different regions. The rhythm is also very characteristic, a pattern of nine slow beats: 9

4 = 4 + 4 + 1 beats or 2 + 2 + 2 + 3 with occasional variations.

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