Turkish Roman Dances in 9/8 from the Roma of Istanbul & Western Turkey
During the Ottoman Empire, Roma ("Gypsies") were popular entertainers for the people and in the courts. Even today many of Istanbul's famous musicians and dancers are Roma. They perform at restaurants, in well-known spots such as Çiçek Pasajı, or in the Roma neighborhoods of Suluküle and Kumkapı. In addition to Çiftetelli, Roma are masters of dancing in 9/8, a rhythm called Aksak or Roman. Roman is not danced with wild leaps and tambourines, as is often portrayed in "gypsy dances", but rather with strong abdominal movements and gestures, that play with the varied possibilities for accentuation of the 9/8 rhythm.