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The 40-person Spanish dance company perform Turkish folk dances in ‘Galata.’

The 40-person Spanish dance company perform Turkish folk dances in ‘Galata.’

Tourists to Spain are able to take in a performance of Turkish dances, such as the kolbastı, horon or harmandalı thanks to the Spanish dance troupe Fenicia Belly Dance Company.

A Madrid-based dance group made up of 40 female dancers has been performing “Galata,” a concert of Turkish dances, to Spanish audiences since 2009. The group, which used the Turkish flag in their advertising posters this year, wear 300 dresses bought from Istanbul as costumes in their show, and dance to only Turkish songs.

Cristiane Azem, the director of the dance company, is from Brazil but has been living in Spain for the last 18 years.

Director of the company is a Brazilian


The director of the dance company, Brazilian-origin has been living in Spain for 18 years. She brought together her love for history, Istanbul and Turkish folk dances to create the show “Galata,” which draws great attention from Spanish audiences.

According to her, Istanbul is the world’s most effective city. She said that she had been impressed by Turkey’s folk and traditional dances during her visits to Istanbul and so learned Turkish dances and have shared them with Spanish audiences.

Azem said that the idea for “Galata” came one night when she was viewing Istanbul from the Galata Tower, adding that she had also been impressed by the Turkish dance troupe Fire of Anatolia and learned the horon dance from the trainer of this troupe.

The members of Azem’s dance troupe include women from many different professions, including lawyers, teachers, chemists, bankers, nurses and journalists, said Azem.

 “It takes too long time to teach all these people a dance that they have never seen in their life. We don’t have any Turkish members and there are many more things that we will learn. But despite this fact, I think we are successful. We are the only dance troupe that makes Turkish dances without any Turkish dance trainer, member or organizer,” she said.

During the dance show, music by Turkish artists and bands such as Sezen Aksu, Tarkan, Mercan Dede, Ömer Faruk Tekbilek, Burhan Öçal, Kazım Koyuncu, Harem and Kardeş Türküler accompany the dancers.
Next year “Galata” will go on tour to Brazil, said Azem.

The “Galata” show will be on the stage in Nuevo Teatro Alcala in the center of Madrid until June 24.

June/16/2012

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S. Tinaz

6/17/2012 12:20:59 AM

I watch their dance segments in you tube , and it's easy to see that they have no Turkish dance trainers. The show is set mostly in Byzantine costumes with made up Byzantine dances and there is a little part with not so authentic belly dance suggests the Turkish part. Perhaps, there is better parts of the show that is not put on you tube for rest of us to view.

Sara Posada

6/16/2012 2:05:26 PM

This show is amazing!!!!!!! =) I´m Spanish and I love Turkey, its culture and history, especially Istanbul and I went last year to see this spectacle. I have to recognise that I was happily surprised because It explained perfectly the importance of Istanbul throughout history, caring attention to every detail and with wonderful dresses and music. It´s so beautiful when they are representing the hammam or the Topkapi harem or some Turkish Roman Dances with colourful dresses. I´ll come back now!!!

Turk Uzan

6/16/2012 12:37:46 AM

Always nice to see others appreciate our culture
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