Once Upon A Time

Music And Dance

The capital of the Ottoman Empire was Istanbul… A part of its life was full of fun and joy with its musicians, male dancers (köçek) and female dancers (çengi). The Sultans has always shared their happiness with their people. People were next to them while they were celebrating their sons’ circumcision, and their daughters’ wedding ceremonies. These ceremonies were full of fun. There were Köçeks, pretty boys who danced in female clothes. Clowns made impressions, and entertained everybody. They were very cute.When Kasebaz women danced in a great elegance with bowls (kase) in their hands, they amazed people. There were Çengis, female dancers, who had a unique, coquettish, elegant inner life. Acrobats brought excitement to ordinary life and animal trainers rushed with fear, magicians amazement, admiration and incredibility. All these ceremonies and entertainments were enriched by music. There were many people all the way from royals to common people who were fans of music. Music and dance gave a break to people of Istanbul who lived difficult lives.

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