Elmalarin Yongasi – Turkey

Elmaların yongası” the Tune and Song

Wikipedia says: “Elmaların yongası is a Turkish folkloric tune (türkü). Elmaların yongası is a form of the Turkish folk dance Kaşık Havası. The time signature is 4/4, and the makam is çargah. “Elmalar” means apples and “yonga” means chip (that is the cut, chipped one). The song is from the region around Konya.” Ahmet Lüleci, who taught a dance arranged for this song, says Elmaların yongası is a metaphor for a pretty girl’s ‘cheeks like apples’.

A separate Wikipedia entry says “Kaşık Havası (tr), Kaşık Oyunları (tr), Χορός κουταλιών (el) (Turkish and Greek, meaning ‘spoon rhythm’ and ‘spoon dances’, respectively….” In other words, Havası refers to the SQQSQQSQQSQQ clicks made by the spoons, the backing rhythm that identify spoon dances which are in 2/4 or 4/4 rhythm; (some are in 9/8). Oyunları is the plural of Oyun, meaning “dance” or “game”, which I like to translate as “occasion for fun”.

The tune Elmaların yongası is popular, and often played as an instrumental solo.

SAVAŞ EKİCİ
Mustafa Kökel, Baglama
Ali Kerem Apaydın, baglama – Elmaların yongası & Kız gül beden

Konya is well-known as a centre for spoon dances (Kaşık Oyunu), so when bands play the tune, spoon clicks are often part of the rhythm.

Anadolu Rüzgarı
Seha Okuş

For the lyrics, click: https://folkdancefootnotes.org/music/lyrics-english-translations/elmalarin-yongasi-lyrics/

Beyaz Kelebekler “White Butterflies”, 1977
Sung by Ulaş Kurtuluş ÜNLÜ
Sung by Burçin
Sung by Çiğdem Gürdal

There are MANY other versions.

Kaşık Oyunu – Spoon Dances in Konya

I Googled Kaşık Oyunu Konya to find spoon dances from the Konya area, and came up with many YouTubes. A band starts up the 4/4 or 2/4 rhythm, (havasi – the spoon clicks are often programmed into the keyboard), and everyone dances – like we would to a pop or rock tune. It’s a freestyle dance, for men, women, or both. Usually people dance in pairs, but also solo, in opposing lines or circles. Footwork is simple – small steps, with a few standard moves. Hands are held up and out, whether clicking spoons or not.

For a look at examples of Kaşık Oyunu (also called Kaşık Havası) in many parts of Turkey, click https://folkdancefootnotes.org/dance/a-real-folk-dance-what-is-it/about/spoon-kasik-dances-turkey-anatolia/.

Dancing at a another wedding.
Festival; Bozkir, Konya, 2016. The Living spoon dance.

Even small villages have performing groups, who seem to be less interested in tradition than in working up new routines.

A Konya performing group showing fancy modern kaşık moves. Dancing starts at 1:03.
Konya. Looks like another performing group.

Elmaların yongası – the Seymenler Dance (oyunu)

From what I can tell, the average Turk knows the song Elmaların yongası, but knows of no particular dance associated with it. Maybe they consider the song old-fashioned and would rather dance to current hits. Maybe no one on the YouTubes I’ve seen have requested the song from a live band. Maybe they consider dancing to that song a specialty of folk dance performing groups.

A performing group called Seymenler released two CD’s of Kaşık Oyunlari (Spoon Dance Tunes). Here’s the music and their accompanying dance for Elmalarin Yongasi from Volume 2 (2014). Each song on the CD has a different dance. These look to me to be collections of simple or possibly obscure village steps arranged into routines.

A YouTube of a dance Seymenler do to the song Elmaların yongası. The footwork is simpler than those executed by the Konya performing groups above.

Elmaların yongası – the Ahmet Lüleci Dance

Ahmet Lüleci taught something along the same vein to recreational folk dancers, using the music sung by Çiğdem Gürdal (above). It’s a simple arranged introduction to one of the most popular dances in Turkey. An excellent DVD of Ahmet teaching this and 9 other Turkish dances, plus Bata Marčetić teaching 9 Serbian dances can be ordered from here: https://singularproductions.com/2014-lyrids-folk-dance-festival-dvd/

As taught by Ahmet Lüleci to Surrey Folk Dancers, BC, Canada
This group appears to be from Italy.

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