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Greek dance is a very old tradition, being referred to by ancient authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch and Lucian.[1] There are different styles and interpretations from all of the islands and surrounding mainland areas. Each region formed its own choreography and style to fit in with their own ways. For example, island dances have more of a "watery" flow to them, while Pontic dancing closer to Black Sea, is very sharp. There are over 4000 traditional dances that come from all regions of Greece. There are also Pan Hellenic dances, which have been adopted throughout the Greek world. These include the tsamiko, syrtos, and kalamatianos. Traditional Greek dancing has a primarily social function. It brings the community together at key points of the year, such as Easter, the grape harvest or patronal festivals; and at key points in the lives of individuals and families, such as weddings. For this reason, tradition frequently dictates a strict order in the arrangement of the dancers, for example, by age. Visitors tempted to join in a celebration should be careful not to violate these arrangements, in which the prestige of the individual villagers may be embodied.[2]

Greek dances are performed often in diaspora Greek communities, and among international folk dance groups.

Contents

Greek Folk Dances

Dora Stratou, Lykeion ton Ellinidon, Horeftikos Omilos Thessalonikis and many other professional groups exist around the world. Each consists of children and adults who continue to perform traditional dances to support the culture.

Aesthetics in Greek Dance

Peloponnese

The dances of the Peloponnese are very simple and heavy, with the leader of the line improvising.

Central Greece

Thrace

Thracian dance is generally skippy and light. In most Thracian dances, the men are only permitted to dance at the front of the line. Musicians and singers such as Hronis Aithonidis and Kariofilis Doitsidis have brought to life the music of Thrace.

  • Tapinos Horos
  • Tapinos Pashaliatikos
  • Horos Tis Giknas
  • Xesyrtos
  • Hasapia
  • Gaitani (Kouseftos)
  • Zonaradikos
  • Baidouska
  • Karsilamas
  • Singathistos
  • Syrtos
  • Koulouriastos
  • Papisios
  • Drista
  • Sihtir Havasi
  • Mandilatos
  • Tripati
  • Dendritsi
  • Daktili

Northern Thrace / Eastern Thrace

The Dances of Anatoliki Rumelia (Northern Thrace) are fast, upbeat and similar to the Thracian style of dance. Dances from the villages of Kavakli and Neo Monastiri are the most popular.

  • Tsestos
  • Bogdanos
  • Stis Treis
  • Troiro
  • Tremouliastos
  • Koutsos
  • Podaraki
  • Kiniyitos
  • Miliso
  • Karsilamas
  • Syrtos Banas
  • Zervos Banas
  • Zonaradikos
  • Douzikos
  • Syngathistos
  • Baintouska
  • Katsivelikos
  • Kiniyitos
  • Yariska
  • Kallinitikos
  • Sfarlis
  • Karsillamas
  • Chestos

Macedonia

Dances in Macedonia vary. Most are solid and are performed using heavy steps, whilst others are fast and agile.Most dances begin slow and increase in speed. Western Macedonia

Eastern Macedonia

  • Baidouska
  • Drousas
  • Kampana
  • Paidouskino
  • Yalata Horos
  • Shop Gaida
  • Karsilamas
  • Kori Eleni
  • Tefkotos

Thessaly

Dances in Thessaly are similar in style to the dances of Epirus. Mostly heavy, and some are fast. The leader, however, improvises, just like those in the Peloponnese.

  • Gaitanaki
  • Kalamatiano
  • Kaggeli
  • Karagouna Svarniara
  • Kleistos Argitheas
  • Koftos
  • Pilioritiko
  • Tsamiko
  • Tai Tai
  • Zaharoula
  • Rougkatsiarikos
  • Souzana
  • Tis Haimadis To Forema
  • Irthan Ta Karavyia Ta Zagoriana
  • Kamara Horos
  • Perasa Apo Tin Karia
  • Simera Ta Fota
  • Girogalakis
  • Kori Pleni Skamakizi

Epirus

Epirote dances are the most slow and heavy in all of Greece. Great balance is required in order to perform these dances.

  • Yiannos O Beratianos
  • Eftes
  • Zagorisios
  • Sta Dio
  • Sta Tria
  • Fissounis
  • Singathisti Hori Metsovou
  • Fezodervenagas
  • Metsovitikos
  • Papadia
  • Genovefa
  • Pogonisios

Aegean Islands

Just like Crete, the Greek Islands have dances which are fast in pace and light and jumpy. Many of these dances, however, are couples dances, and not so much in lines.

Ionian Islands

Crete

These dances are light and jumpy, and extremely cardiovascular.

  • Rethemniotiki Sousta
  • Pentozali
  • Syrtos Haniotikos
  • Siganos
  • Rodo
  • Trizali
  • Apanomeritis
  • Anogeianos Pidihtos
  • Agaliastos
  • Maleviziotiko
  • Mikro Mikraki
  • Katsibardianos
  • Laziotis
  • Ethianos Pidihtos
  • Zervodexios
  • Pidihtos Lasithou
  • Xenompasaris
  • Katsampadianos
  • Priniotis
  • Sitiakos Pidihtos
  • Ierapetrikos Pidihtos

Pontos

The Dances of the Pontic Greeks from the Black Sea, are amazing dances that were mostly performed by pontian soldiers in order to motivate themselves before going into a battle. The dances are accompanied by the Pontian Lyra also called the Kemenche by Turkish people.

  • Kotsari
  • Tik Mono
  • Tik Imeras
  • Tik Diplo
  • Tik Nikopolis
  • Tik Argo Ak-Dag-Maten
  • Tiki Nikopolis
  • Tik Togias or Togialidikon
  • Apo Pan Kai Ka Matsouka
  • Shiton Imeras
  • T'apan Ke Ka Matsouka
  • Koussera
  • Tsourtougouzous Ak-Dag-Maten
  • Tromahton
  • Omal Aplon
  • Omal Kars
  • Kounihton Nikopolis
  • Outsai, Outsain, Outs-Alti, Outsagoun
  • Trigona Trapezountas
  • Trigona Matsoukas
  • Trigona Kerasountas - Giourouh
  • Ters Ak Dag Maten
  • Ters Kioumous Maten
  • Tyrfon or Tryfon Bafra
  • Gemoura
  • Atsapat
  • Serra
  • Mahairia
  • Koutsihton Omal
  • Omali Nikopolis
  • Diplon Omal
  • Tsiarahot Ak-Dag-Maten
  • Momoeria
  • Letsi Kars (Kars)
  • Letsina kars (Kars)
  • Sampson Sampsouda
  • Sari Kouz Kars (Sarı Kız) (Kars)
  • Etere Trapezounta
  • Fona Argyroupolis
  • Giouvarlantoum Ak-Dag-Maten
  • Sari Kouz Mandili Kars
  • Halai Ak-Dag-Maten
  • Kots
  • Mouzenitkon
  • Dolme
  • Armatsouk
  • Tripat Matsouka
  • Dipat
  • Titara Agyroupolis
  • Getiere Agyroupolis
  • Tamasara Trapezountas
  • Aneforitisa Kizela
  • Kalon Koritsi
  • Seranitsa
  • Patoula
  • Tiv-Tiv-Tiv Tana or Kori Kopela
  • Tamsara Nikopoulis
  • Lafraga
  • Tria Ti Kotsari
  • Miteritsa
  • Kel Kit Kakatsi
  • Hala Hala
  • Militsa

Asia Minor (Anatolia)

Erithreas

Cappadocia

  • Ai Vasiliatikos or Ez Vasili
  • Ntipasha
  • Horos Mandilion
  • Horos Leilaloum
  • Horos Koutalyion
  • Horos Maherion
  • Sei Tata
  • Konialis

Sarakatsani

  • Diplos Horos
  • Sta Tria
  • Apano Stin Triandafilia
  • Despo
  • Tsamikos
  • Horos Katsa

Vlahoi

  • Anitpera
  • Sta Tria
  • Kalamatianos
  • Syrtos
  • Hatzistergiou Tselingk Mare
  • La Valia di Giannena
  • Sta tria
  • Kato Stin Aspri Petra

Arvanites

Cyprus

Men's Dances

  • Protos Karsilamas
  • Defteros Karsilamas
  • Tritos Karsilamas
  • Zeibekikos
  • Syrtos
  • Datchia

Women's Dances

  • Protos Karsilamas
  • Defteros Karsilamas
  • Tritos Karsilamas
  • Tetartos Karsilamas
  • Syrtos

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ Raftis, Alkis, The World of Greek Dance Finedawn, Athens (1987) p25.
  2. ^ Raftis, Alkis, The World of Greek Dance Finedawn, Athens (1987) p117.
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