History of Horon Dance
History of Horon Dance History of Horon Dance

The Pontic Greek word horon or khoron (Turkish: horon), which is related to Modern Greek(choros), refers to a group of folk dances from Pontus, i. e. the Black Sea region, now modern Turkey.

Pontian dance retains aspects of Greek and Persian dance styles. The dances called horoi (Greek), singular also horos, meaning literally "dance" in both Ancient and modern Greek language, are circular in nature and are each characterized by distinct short steps. Today they are also danced in the regions of Greece where the Pontic refugees have established themselves since 1922.

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.

A unique aspect of Pontian dance is the tremoulo, which is a fast shaking of the upper torso by a turning of the back on its axis.

The rapid shoulder and upper body movements from the waist might have evolved only in modern times, during the Ottoman reign, as some people seem to believe. These movements 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. It is said that long sea journeys and merchant exchanges, or perhaps the migration of troops as far away as Ireland en route to the Holy Land exposed foreign people with these dance styles. Some think that the Irish jig and thus its modern version, the River Dance, may have its roots from this exposure.

Extension and Distribution of Folk Dances in Today's Turkey
Horon Types
Omal, meaning "the calm, normal one", in Turkish düz horon
Tik, from "perpendicular", in Turkish dik
Argon, meaning "the slow one"
Tromakton, meaning "the fierce one", in Turkish titreme horonu
So gonaton, meaning "on the knee"
Langefton, meaning "the jumped, hopped one"
Karslidikon, meaning "the one from Kars"
Diplon, meaning "the double one"
Dipat or Giavaston, meaning "double step", in Turkish ikiayak horon
Ters, meaning "the wrong or incorrect one" from Turkish ters (the dance exists in two versions, one from the Akdagmadeni town and district in Yozgat, one from Kioumoush Maten)
Trigona, meaning "pigeon" or Turkish dirvana (which exists in different versions in Trapezounta, Matsouka, Kerasounta)
Seranitsa or Laz horon, referring to the Laz people (two versions from Trapezounta and Sheriana)
Serra, named after the region Serra [disambiguation needed], in Turkish siksara horon
Masher or Maheria or Pyrecheios, an ancient Greek dance described by the ancient historian Xenophon as picturing "the sound of fire" (in the film The Addams Family, Gomez Addams dances the Masher)
Kots, meaning "heel dance"
Kotsari, an Armenian folk dance, meaning "heel dance", Turkish koçari
Titara, existing in two version from Argyroupoli and Kars)
Samson, "from Samsun"
Karsilamas, from Kars, from Turkish karsilama "face to face"
Pipilomatena, meaning "with soft eyes"
Momogera, meaning "immature old man", Turkish momoyer
Atsiapat, from Turkish Akçaabat
Gemura, meaning "from Yomra", a town close to Trabzon
Diplon Omal, meaning "double calm"
Kalon Korits, meaning "good girl"
Kymishanalidikon, meaning from Gumushane
Sarikuz, from Turkish sari kiz "blond girl"
Tamsara, "from Tamzara town", Giresun
Halai, a variant of the Halay dance

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. -Robert Frost

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