I wish I’d taken a video. Still images don’t do justice to the energy and fluid dynamics of these folk dancers in an underground nightclub in Cappadocia, Turkey. Especially the men. They seemed to have springs in their legs, like Russian Cossack dancers.
Our guide said, “the belly dancer is not very good. She is the daughter of the previous belly dancer who retired.” But we thought she was good. At least she was flashy, loving the attention of all the men, dancing close to them, provocatively. And I loved her costume.
The room was divided into five alcoves with two sets of tiered tables in each. I was fortunate to be sitting in a center alcove on the front end of the second (higher) tier, so I had a good view. Our busload of mostly Australian tourists shared an alcove with another, rowdier group from Spain, several of whom were dancing at their table. The Germans filled up the far right alcove. Italians at far left. As a rough estimate, I’m guessing that there were about 400 people in that room. And all around, raki (very strong Turkish national drink) flowed freely.
When the show finally ended, we boarded our bus for the ride back to our hotel, all of us singing Waltzing Matilda and other Aussie songs.
The next day we visited a shop that sold the most beautiful, wonderfully decorated ceramics. And the woman behind the checkout counter, barely recognizable in street clothes, was our belly dancer. It seems that entertainers everywhere must support themselves with day jobs.