The Society of Folk Dance Historians
Other Ali Pasha documents
a dance and song
(AH-lee PA-sha) = General Ali
Ali Pasha. Arpa Ektim.
A true folk dancer's dance, Ali Pasa has steps also found in Serbian, Mexican, Greek, and Israeli folk dances. Count this 5/4 meter dance in 4: 1 (quick), 2 (quick), 3 (quick), 4 (slow). You may call the step changes telepathically as we do, verbally with "gec, gec" (= change, change), or with the numbers. Bora Ozkok, a Turk, choreographed this dance in 1971.
Mixed line of M and W in a circle, leader at R end. Little fingers joined at shoulder height. Persons at ends of line wave handkerchiefs in free hands.
|1-16||Stand there and wiggle your toes and bob your hands in time to the music. Start dancing when the singing starts.|
|1. Bir (= One). Walking. Face slightly to R.|
|1||Walk forward to R 3 steps onto: R ft, L ft, R ft (cts 1,2,3), touch L toe beside R ft, no weight (ct 4).|
|2||Walk backward to L 3 steps onto: L ft, R ft, L ft (cts 1,2,3), touch R toe beside L ft (ct 4).|
|3-4||= 1-2, moving into and out of circle.|
|2. Iki (= Two). Grapevine. Remain facing center.|
|1||Step to R onto R ft (ct 1), step behind R ft onto L ft (ct 2), step to R onto R ft (ct 3), step in front of R ft onto L ft (ct 4).|
|2||= 1, but close L ft to R ft, no weight (ct 4).|
|3-4||= 1-2, but with opposite footwork and direction.|
|3. Uc (= Three). Brush and touch. Remain facing center.|
|1||Brush R toe inward to L across L ft (ct 1), brush R toe outward to R (ct 2), step to R onto R ft (ct 3), step beside R ft onto L ft (ct 4).|
|3||Step slightly forward onto R ft (ct 1), step in place onto L ft (ct 2), step beside L ft onto R ft (ct 3), touch L toe forward (ct 4).|
|4||Step back onto L ft (ct 1), step beside L ft onto R ft (ct 2), step forward onto L ft (ct 3), close R ft to L ft, no weight (ct 4).|
|Repeat the dance for a total of 4 times.|
Note from the editor: this dance probably refers to another General Ali who also was assassinated because of mis-use of power. Apparently, Pasha is a common title, Ali a common name, and mis-use of power a common occurrence in the Ottoman empire.
In case you're curious, the title of this song refers to General Ali, the Albanian-born governor of the southwest Balkans under the Ottoman Turks in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Ali was an exceptionally cruel vice-sultan of an exceptionally cruel empire; sort of a depraved Darth Vader. This guy was so bad that even the Sultan couldn't tolerate it and had him murdered; so bad that some historians credit resistance to his reign for eventually driving the Turks from Europe. Actually, the Turks still hold a sizable part of Greece, but you know what I mean.
|Arpa ektim, biçemedim, bir düs gördüm, seçemedim.//||I sowed barley, but didn't harvest, had a dream, but didn't recognize it.|
|Alışmışım soğuk suya issığ [dissiz?] sular içemedim.//||I am used to cold water, couldn't drink water without its bite.|
|Üç atım var, biri binek, arkadaşlar kalkın gidek.//||I have three horses, one fit for riding, come friends, let's arise and go.|
|Ali Paşayı vurdular yavrusuna haber verek.//||They've shot General Ali, tell his relatives.|
|Paşa giyer iki kürkü, biri samur biri tilki.//||The general wears two fur coats, one mink, the other fox.|
|Ali Paşayı vurdular, harab oldu Van'ın mülkü [nurdu?].//||They've shot General Ali, the wonder of Van is gone.|
|Karavanaya vurdular. Yüzbaşılar darıldılar.//||When he asked to eat in the mess hall, the officers were offended.|
|Darılmayın yüzbaşılar, Ali Paşayı vurdular.////||Don't be mad, captains, General Ali has been shot.|