A firm favourite of visitors this season is the dance spectacular Troy, performed by the extremely talented, internationally acclaimed, Fire of Anatolia dance troupe, at their theatre in Aspendos.
The reasoning for the name of the show is a bit of a mystery; Troy does not rate a mention in the artistic announcement made on an echo machine at the beginning of the performance, nor is there a wooden horse anywhere in sight. This however, does not detract from the fast moving and colourful spectacle.
The show begins just after 9pm and consists of two 40 minute sections with a 20 minute interval; an interval is probably essential to allow the cast to get their breath back after their exertions in the first half. The dancing is probably best described as Turkish belly dancing meets Russian Cossack and Irish dancing, with drums. If you go you will understand.
A charming touch at the end of the show is that the cast, including the principal dancers, remain on stage, not so that they can receive endless encores, but to allow the audience to talk to and be photographed with them. It’s every 12 year old budding ballerina’s dream and the delight of many of their mothers as well.
There are minor irritations, but none of them relate to the spectacle itself. Having to pay €2 for a small bottle of water and paying TL2 to use the toilet, after already paying a substantial sum of money to enter the theatre, are high on the list. As are announcements telling people not to take photos or videos during the performance, although many people ignore this.
Each show is usually a full house, consequently it pays to arrive about an hour early if you want to pick your seat as there is no allocated seating. The view of the stage is best from the centre seating, although there is nothing really to obstruct the view on the seats at the ends of the rows.
As the show takes place at night in an open air theatre it is advisable to take a light coat or wrap, if you have been sunbathing all day you may feel the evening chill.
Booking can be made with any of the tour organisations as a trip in itself or as the finale of a day tour. Alternatively, if you have your own transport, Aspendos is about 20 Km from the Side area, you can buy vouchers at the kiosk outside of Side Museum, which are exchanged for tickets when you arrive at the theatre.
The Fire of Anatolia Web Site is: http://www.fireofanatolia.be/index.php?lg=en
This post has not been revised since publication.