Saturday, July 26, 2008

Celebrating 4 Years!

While Andy and I were traveling in Turkey, we happened to be there on our 4th anniversary. As we had been working during the nights with so much focus since our arrival, my one request was simply a fun dinner out at a traditional Turkish show. Our hotel recommended a dinner show called “Sultana: The Story of the Sultan’s Harem”, which was all acted out in traditional songs and dances and costumes. We somehow convinced our good friend Umut to join us (because after a few days of non-stop Melvins he was pretty much a part of the family). When the curtains went up, we were treated to 3 bellydancing acts, 3 traditional men-women Turkish dances, a re-enactment of the mother of the sultan’s selection process for the woman from the harem for her son, and then a very bizarre re-enactment of the seduction dance between the sultan and his harem women, ending with a chorus of all the characters dancing and singing. It was certainly entertaining… awkward at times, funny at times, interesting at times.

Here is Andy and I with Umut after the show on the roof of our hotel looking out over Istanbul. The whole rooftop restaurant was made of glass in a 360 degree view and even the ceiling was glass. I watched the sunset up there the night before. It was gorgeous!

Below, I posted 2 videos, one of the bellydancers parading in a group before the sultana and the other of the “seduction dance” which was performed by two strangely costumed men (just watch… it’s weird looking!). The men have painted faces on their stomachs and fake arms hanging off their waists, and the arm head area of their real bodies is tucked into hat-like things. The whole dance I was so confused and maybe a little afraid that I forgot to video until the last 7 seconds... but luckily I caught the surpirse ending!

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