[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Alternative Names 'Çavreşlí' is the original spelling.
'Cavresli' is it reduced to ASCII by missing off the accents.
'Charvreshli' is an English transcription.
Formation Circle or lines. V-hold.
Dance Structure (A + (B + C + D) + E) x 2 + (F + (B + C + D) + G) + B
Music Structure 4 counts/bar, 2 bar phrases.
Music Rhythm "ONE and Two and Three and Four".
Music Speed 105 counts/min.
Choreographer Ersin Seyhan.
Source Ersin Seyhan at the 2000 Zetten Balkan Festival. Additional details from Bruce Barbour in Ipswich. Short version from Ersin Seyhan at the 2007 Zetten Balkan Festival.

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught by Ersin Seyhan.

This is an enthusiastic, hot, shaky and exhausting dance (if done with the correct styling) to pounding modern Turkish music. Despite appearances, is was not a men-only dance; indeed the head & body swinging in Part G was intended to jangle the jewellery worn by women dancers.

The "(A+(B+C+D)+E) x 2 + (F+(B+C+D)+G) + B" structure looks a bit complicated but it is essentially just 5 figures done to the 5 sections of the tune all repeated 3 times with a couple of variations in the final repeat and an extra Part B on the end to take up the remaining music. Only one of those 7 sections, Part E, is difficult to copy on the fly so the amount of teaching needed before doing this dance, provided there is someone to copy, is not long. If the order of the variations is forgotten, it does not matter - it varied a lot in Zetten so variations are probably just done whenever the leader likes. The particular order detailed here is the one done in the closing dance session of Zetten 2000.

To stop the structure looking even more complicated, I've incorporated repeats of parts into the parts themselves (e.g. I've written Part A as 8 bars in which the last 4 are a repeat of the first 4 instead of writing it as 4 bars and putting "A x 2" in the structure). Otherwise it would have been the frightening "(Ax2+(Bx2+C+D)+Ex4)x2+(Fx2+(Bx2+C+D)+Gx2)+B". Fortunately there is no need to count repeats, just keep doing the same part until the music changes distinctly. If one gets lost as to which bit one should be doing, the obvious parts to spot are Part C, which is done to the music where the lead instrument sounds like a shawm, and Part E (and its variation, G), which is done to the singing. The other parts are similar enough to interchangeable without damage anyway.

The music is very similar to that for Baraka, an Israeli dance. As Baraka is of Kurdish Jewish origin and the Kurdish homelands spans regions of Turkey, Iran and Iraq, I expect that the similarity in music is because the tunes of Çavreşlí & Baraka share a common Kurdish origin.

The majority of these notes are based on quick notes I scribbled down in Zetten from Ersin's teaching but the footwork of part E is from Bruce, who learnt it from Ersin at the same time I did, two years later (I had forgotten the step behind).

Style: Turkish. Look as if you are exerting to the full and are exhausted even you are not (which you shouldn't be - there will be hours more dancing :-) ). Solidly flat footed and heavy yet high knee lifts in Part A, vigorous swings to the sides in Part E, manic arm thrusting in Part D and a continual shaky knee, body & shoulder bounce to every half-beat throughout. Chest proudly forwards and head tilted back in simulated ecstasy/exhaustion.


Summary: Crescendo & 2 bars.

There is a crescendo plus one phrase (2 bars) of Part A music to get ready.

Part A

Summary: Walk forwards 8 steps, ditto backwards. Do 2 times.

Start Facing centre. V-hold.
1 Walk R forwards lifting the L knee infront so that the L upper leg is horizontal & the L lower leg is vertical.
& Pause with the L leg up. This pause becomes a hop because of the bouncing.
2-2& Repeat counts 1-1& on the opposite feet (L forwards lifting R, hop on L).
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& (2 steps forwards with lifts & hops).
2 Repeat bar 1 (4 steps forwards with lifts & hops making 8 in total)
3-4 Repeat bars 1-2 but travelling backwards to place (8 steps backwards with lifts and hops).
5-8 Repeat bars 1-4.

Part B

Summary: Walk forwards 4 steps & 4 heel pushes sideways, ditto backwards. Do 2 times.

Start Facing centre. V-hold.
1 The same as Part A bar 1 (4 steps forwards with lifts & hops).
1 Facing acw around the circle with the R leg up, push the R foot down across infront of the L leg about half way to the ground. This motion is like a piston with the foot flat and the lower leg not changing its direction once it is moving (of course it has to be tilted leftwards to go infront of the L leg first).
& Reverse the R leg motion of count 1 raising the leg. This naturally combines with the bounce.
2 & Repeat counts 1-1& but with the R leg pushing down & raising vertically below the knee instead of across the L leg.
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& (push R leg down across L, raise, down straight, raise).
3 Facing the centre again, do the same as Part A bar 3 (4 steps backwards with lifts & hops).
4 Repeat bar 2 (facing acw, push R leg down across L, raise, down straight, raise twice).
5-8 Repeat bars 1-4.

Part C

Summary: Individual circle cw with clapping for 16 counts..

Start Facing acw around the circle. No hold.
Feet Walk (just walk, no lifts or hops this time) forwards on a solo anticlockwise circular path for 16 steps (one step per main count) starting with stepping onto the R foot. One should be closest to the centre and facing cw exactly half way through this.
Hands Clap on every main count (16 claps total). The L hand is infront of the face, hand flat, palm towards the face and fingers pointing to the R. L elbow is at the same height as L hand. The R hand is between the L hand & the face, flat, palm away from the face and fingers pointing up. The claps are done by the R hand moving hard onto the stationary L hand.

Part D

Summary: Part B but not sideways. Do once.

This is identical to Part B bars 1-4 (i.e. only done once not twice) but remain facing the centre for the R leg pushes instead of facing acw.

Part E

Summary: Grapevine with arm thrusts R, Cherkessias, mirror. Do 4 times.

Start Facing centre. Fortress hold.
1 R to the side.
2 L across infront.
3 R to the side.
4 L behind.
& Start a Cherkessia by stepping R in place.
1 Thrust arms horizontally backwards (only about 10 cm as the is not much time or space) by moving elbows backwards.
& Return arms forwards to normal Fortress hold position.
2-4& Repeat counts 2-4& 3 more times (making 4 arm thrusts in total).
1 L across infront.
& R in place.
2 L close.
& R across infront.
3 L in place.
& R close.
4 L across infront.
& R in place.
Hands Shake up & down loosely with arms still in Fortress hold.
3-4 Repeat bars 1-2 in mirror image on the opposite feet (grapevine L with arm thrusting, 3 Cherkessias).
5-16 Repeat bars 1-4 three more times.

The awkward bits are the arm Grapevine motion which is twice as fast as feels natural and the Cherkessia timing which is twice as fast as the Grapevine timing.

Part F

Summary: Part A but limping. Do 2 times.

Start Facing centre. V-hold.
1 Walk R forward. Only a small step.
& Close L to just behind being besides R as if limping.
2-4& Repeat counts 1-1& 3 more times (3 limping steps forwards).
2 Repeat bar 1 (4 limping steps forwards making 8 in total).
3-4 Repeat bars 1-2 but travelling backwards to place (8 limping steps backwards)
5-8 Repeat bars 1-4.

This is a limping substitute for Part A. Towards the end of this dance, limping may come naturally :-) .

Part G

Summary: Facing R & L 8 times moving in, ditto out. Repeat.

Start Facing centre. V-hold.
1 A small low jump landing with L foot in normal position but R foot on the heel and the head and R foot both turned 45 deg to the R. Move very slightly (about 5 cm) forwards during this.
& Bounce.
2 & Repeat counts 1-1& but in mirror image on the opposite feet (face L).
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& (face R, face L).
2-4 Repeat bar 1 three times (change facing direction 12 times, making 16 in total, whilst moving slightly forwards).
5-8 Repeat bars 1-4 but travelling backwards to place (change facing direction 16 times whist moving slightly backwards).
9-16 Repeat bars 1-8.

Short Version

Seven years later Ersin taught a short version (called "Çavreşlí - KORT", 'kort' being Dutch for short). It was (other than that I might have got the number of repeats wrong) (A + (F' + G') + (C1 + C2) + E') x 2 + A. Part C1 is like Part C of the original but doing the solo circle in half the time (8 claps & steps not 16). Part C2 is like Part C1 but circling back the other way (anticlockwise). Part E' is like Part E of the original in the footwork. Part F' is like the first quarter of Part F of the original (just going in rather than in, out, in out) in the footwork. Part G' is like Part G of the original bars 7-8 (using that footwork to travel back to place after going in in Part F') in the footwork. The hands of Parts E', F' & G' are shaking like in Part E bar 2 of the original.