Nightscapes in Flux: Exploring Nocturnal Cultural Codes Through Dance in Arkaoda

Musaoğlu M., Öten B.

4th International Conference on Night Studies, Lisbon, Portugal, 11 - 13 October 2023, pp.53-54

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Lisbon
  • Country: Portugal
  • Page Numbers: pp.53-54
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Dancing during nighttime socializations offers an escape to individuals seeking respite from the pressures of daily life. With the physical movements that challenge norms, it reshapes the space by creating new cultural codes and stretching the volume of the space for an instant or certain period of time. Through its physical movements that defy conventional norms, it reconfigures the spatial realm, forging fresh cultural codes and expanding the very dimensions of the space, within a specific time frame. The emancipation found in the inability to observe the darkness makes the ecstatic experience of dance transform dancers into a spatial dynamic for the presence of the dance floor. This research examines the transformative power of dance in Arkaoda nights, located in Kadıköy, Istanbul, to explore the emergence of nocturnal cultural codes and their influence on spatial dynamics. Arkaoda, one of the oldest bars on Kadife Street since 1999, is a multifaceted venue which embodies an authentic musical ethos with DJ performances, an original music understanding, parties, various festivals, art activities, and markets set up in the garden. Within the scope of this study, the focus will be on the nighttime activities of Arkaoda, diagramming the interaction between music genres and dance to reveal how the formed codes reshape the physical environment, social interactions, and nightlife experience. The research adopts a mixed-methods approach, utilizing qualitative methods such as interviews, participant observation, and spatial analysis to capture the nuances of dance, cultural expressions, and their impact on spatial dynamics within Arkaoda events.