How to dance pentozali

The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Information: A dance.

Translation: Slow or easy going

Pronunciation: see-gah-NOHS

Other name: Slow Pentozali

Region: Greece

The of Crete is found with:

  1. An 8-count step done in a reverse L pattern.
  2. The 6-count pattern common to so many dances and also found in the Southern Albanian Valle ("dance"). No evidence exists for a direct link. The 6-count pattern, popular now, may have started as a regional variation.
  3. A combination of the 6-count pattern with a reverse L pattern.

Sung couplets called kondilies often provide accompaniment for Siganos, which may have developed from these songs. Siganos followed by Pentozali may be a stage choreography, because Cretans rarely dance Pentozali as a participatory dance but as a performance dance. Pentozlis can follow any number of kondylies melody sequences; the Anoyianes kondylies are popular. Kondylies occur in both siganos and in mandinades (poetry sessions), but not simultaneously. Dance and poetry sessions occur separately.

Many song-dances exist in Greece, sung a cappella, for a 6-count pattern dance.

Young Cretan dancers display skill through Malevisiotikos, also a display of skill for the lyra-player.

While Siganos/kondylies and improvised Mandinades appears to be older, the popularity of Siganos may be more recent than that of the pidichta dances (Sousta, Pentozalis, Maleviziotikos, etc.). The Cretan Syrtos became popular relatively recently and resembles Siganos.

The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)


[ Home | About | Encyclopedia |
| Publications | Members ]

Ópa ékama 'gó famegikés
sevntá sti doúlepsí sou

Sevntá sti doúlepsí sou ma
kaliménto oúte throulí den eída
'po nomí sou

Éla kállia
Kalliá triakóses éngales
monoporás n' armégo

Monoporás n' armégo
pará sto belalí sevntá
pou m’ écheis kai palévgo

Ópa, ap' ónte dódeka chronó
gidáris steironómos

Ópa ópa gidáris steironómos
kai san to skýlo mou klouthá
kai tou sevntá sou o pónos

Ti vérga
kopeliá mou ti...
ti vérga mou epantóniara
kai blió, de váno voúrgia

Kai blió de váno voúrgia
giat' eípes pos de thes voskó
agápi mou kainoúrgia

Dódeka megalósteires
dódeka megalósteires
ki énan krigió brostári

Ki énan krigió brostári tásso...
tásso sou Panagía mou á...
állos na min ti párei

Éla, egó katadikástika
cheimóna kalokaíri

Ópa ópa cheimóna, kalokaíri na 'mai. ..
na 'mai famégios tou sevntá, tou...
tou pónou parachéri

Ímoune kopeliá mou
ímoun ki egó mian epochí
kai meraklís kai ántras

Ópa ópa kai meraklís kai ántras ma...
efágane me oi voskikés
ki o kókalos tsi mántras
Ópa ópa ki o kókalos tsi mántras

Theé mou kai gia ínta mia kardiá
Theé mou kai gia ínta mia kardiá
mou 'cheis dosméni móno

Ópa mou 'cheis dosméni móno kai The...
kai Theé mou pémpeis to sevntá
déka forés to chróno

  Oops, I made fame
sevda in your work

Shame on you for your work
I did not see any klimento or throuli
in your prefecture

Come on beautiful
Three hundred beautiful women
monoporas to milk

Monoporas to milk
rather than in trouble
that you have me and I fight

Oops, I'm twelve years old

Oops oh donkey sterilizer
and like my dog he barks
and your seventh pain

The rod
my girl the . ..
my rod resonated
and blo, I do not wear bourges

And I don't care
why did you say you do not want a shepherd
my new love

Twelve large sterils
twelve large sterils
and a raft in front

And I put a crest in front ...
I give you my Virgin a ...
another not to take it

Come on, I was convicted
winter summer

Oops oops winter, summer to be ...
to be famous of the seventh, of ...
of arm pain

I was my girlfriend
I was at one time too
and fanatic and man

Oops oops and a fanatic and a man but ...
ate with the shepherds
and the bone of the mantra
Oops and the bone of the mantra

My God, for you were a heart
My God, for you were a heart
you only gave it to me

Oops you have given me only God ...
and my God you send the seventh
ten times a year

This page © 2018 by Ron Houston.
Please do not copy any part of this page without including this copyright notice.
Please do not copy small portions out of context.
Please do not copy large portions without permission from Ron Houston.

Cretan dances, Culture - Crete

The dances of Crete are danced by men and women and remind the imposing and dynamic presence of the people of the island.

The Cretan dances are divided into two large groups, the quick (“pidichtoi”) and the round (“sirtoi”). The quick dances remind war dances especially if they are danced by men. The round dances are more popular in marriages while, in the ancient times, were danced by the Minoans during sacrifices.

It is said that the first dance started in Crete, spread to the rest of Greece and, then, changed. “Pirichios” was the dance that inspired the creation of other dances and was taught in all over Greece. It was a war dance that reminds “pentozalis” (i.e. a Cretan quick dance).

The myth of the birth of Zeus confirms the ancient relation of the Cretans with that form of expression. It is said that Rea wanted to give birth to Zeus in Diktaio Antro in order to protect it from Kronos’s (his father) rage as Kronos knew that Zeus would take his place as the god of the gods and goddesses. In order to protect her child, Rea taught a dance to Kourites tapping their shields and covering the sound of the baby’s cry.

Twenty-five dances are recorded in the Cretan dance inheritance, not known in the whole island as each one flourished in a different area of Crete. Many of them are named “siganos” (i.e. slow) or “pidichtos” and the place name in where they were danced. So there were many slow and quick dances. Other dances are gitsikia sousta, glikomilitsa, rodo, fterotos sirtos, koutsampadianos, trizalis, apanomeritis, mikro mikraki, mprimianos or priniotis, agaliastos, ksenompasaris, zervodeksos, steiakos, lazotis and ntournerakia. The most popular dances are only five, sousta, siganos, malevizotis, sirtos or chaniotis and pentozali.

Sousta falls under the quick dances category and comes from Rethimno. It is danced by (men-women) couples and reminds a love story, from the time of their meeting till their marriage. In the ancient times, sousta was a war dance but, through the years, it became a love calling. Its name came from the Latin and means a spring.

Siganos was the dance of the bride in the central and eastern Crete. It came from the Rethimno prefecture and is a slow dance that both men and women hold each other’s shoulders and make a circle. According to tradition, siganos was created by the Cretans during the Turkish Occupation as the Turks invited Christians in their feasts in order to make the women dance. They had rubbed the floor with a plant in order to slip and fall down. That is why the Cretans invented that dance and asked from the lyre players to play siganos in order not to have accidents. It is also said that siganos was invented by the Cretans when the Turks prohibited the quick-revolutionary dances. The Cretans made siganos in order not to forget pentozali with whom it looks like. That is why, after siganos, pentozali is played.

Maleviziotis or kastrinos or pidichtos is a dance from the Malevizi district of the Heraclion prefecture. It is a quick dance in a circle. “Talimia” that means dance evolutions are also made during maleviziotis. The first man in the circle holding the hand of the second one, he performs dance evolutions.

The most popular dance is chaniotis or sirtos. Sirtos is danced in a circle and made in the middle of the 18th century, after the change of an older sirtos dance. Chaniotis was danced for the first time in Kissamos of Chania. The famous melody in the “Aleksis Zormpas” film is based on an old chaniotis.

Pentozalis or (more correctly) pentozali falls under the quick dances category. It is performed in a circle and, mostly nowadays, after siganos. It was created in the Kissamos province, about in 1770, during the Daskalogiannis Revolution. It is said that, in every important event of his life, Daskalogiannis wanted a new dance to be created or a new melody to be written. So he asked from the musician Stefanos Triantafilakis to compose a pentozalis dedicated to their fifth revolution against the Turks. Pentozali is performed with 10 steps that remind the decision of the people of Sfakia to start the Revolution on the 10th of October 1769 and the music has twelve parts (musical expressions, turns) in the honor of the twelve ringleaders of the revolution.

The Cretan dances are not in danger of extinction as it is an inseparable part of the Cretans’ social life. There are also many variations from place to place and from man to man.

Pendozali (Πεντοζάλι) - Cretan traditional dance and encrypted message

Subscribe to our Telegram channel

Material Information

Views: 726
  • Culture of Crete
  • Traditions

Pentosali is one of the most dynamic Cretan dances created during the preparations for the fifth Cretan uprising against the Turkish invaders in 1769. Interestingly, Pentozali is not only a dance, but also an encrypted message from the leader of the uprising, Giannis Daskalogiannis, to the revolutionaries.

It is believed that the Pentozali dance owes its invention to Giannis Daskalogiannis, a native of the village of Anopoli in the Sfakia region. At that time, for more than a century, the island of Crete was in the power of the Ottoman Empire after the Turkish-Venetian war of 1645 - 1669gg.

Freedom-loving Cretans rebelled against Turkish oppression, but it was all in vain. The Turks suppressed the uprisings, in retaliation they executed participants and burned entire villages. The population of Crete was rapidly declining.

Yiannis Daskalogiannis decided to gather an army to drive the Turks out of Crete. At the same time, Russia was at war with the Ottoman Empire for access to the Black Sea, so Daskalogiannis enlisted the support of Empress Catherine II and the Orlov brothers, who promised to help him in the offensive.

Daskalogiannis needed to gather as many people as possible to overthrow the Ottomans, but the problem was how to notify his followers of the impending uprising. The fact is that the villages in the Sfakya region were far from each other, and it was risky to send a letter, since the Turks could intercept it.

Then Daskalogiannis decided to encrypt his message into a dance. He approached the maestro of the Cretan lyre, Stefanos Triandafilakis, also called Kyoros, and asked him to compose revolutionary music to create a martial dance similar to that of the Dorians who lived in Crete centuries ago.

Kioros, a musician, walked around the villages playing the Cretan lyre without arousing any suspicion among the Turks, and the locals performed a dance to this music. Meanwhile, in the created battle dance of Pentosali, the message was encrypted:

  • Πέντε - transl. from Greek five, which means the fifth uprising against the Turkish invaders
  • Ζάλος - translated from the ancient Greek language - rampage, storm
  • The uprising was scheduled for October 10, so there are 10 steps in the dance
  • Daskalogiannis was joined by 12 heads of villages, so 12 people participated in the dance at the same time

Men in the dance held each other by the shoulders, which personified cohesion and unity. Each of the performers, in turn, had to jump high to give courage to their comrades, and by kicking their feet on the floor, they showed that they would move forward and not retreat. That they will fight against the Turkish yoke until they gain freedom or death.

Several centuries have passed since those events, but the music and dance of Pentozali cannot leave us indifferent. Looking at the dancing Cretans, you feel an incredible surge of inspiration, and your legs themselves begin to beat the rhythm.

* Meta Platforms Inc. (Facebook, Instagram) - an extremist organization whose activities are prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation

Privacy policy | Site Rules | Our friends | Sitemap | ✉ Contacts
Terms and conditions for copying site materials: More...
©, . All rights reserved.
This site is hosted by Timeweb

Dance in Minoan culture and Ancient Greece: origins, significance in religion

Dance in Minoan culture and Ancient Greece

Please rate Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5

Dance: prayer or theater

Studying the history of religions, especially their most archaic forms, one involuntarily becomes convinced that dance in ancient cultures was a form of prayer: the same sacrifice to God of oneself, one's energy and strength, as the hard work of building temples ( sanctuaries, megalithic buildings), and the same emotionally filled process as chanting in hymns and doxologies. Moreover, the song, music and dance were most often inextricably linked in the general semantic field of the rite.

From this point of view, the culture of Ancient Greece is, of course, a dancing culture, unlike, for example, modern Christian restraint in showing feelings even for the revered and sacred. Although even here one can argue, since not all Christianity is the same and, perhaps, you have seen the broadcasts of the convergence of the Holy Fire, where Arab Christians beat drums, dance, sing or shout loudly “Jesus Christ is our God.” Yes, and Pavel Florensky in his work “Temple Action as a Synthesis of Arts” speaks of a kind of church choreography, “appearing in the regularity of church movements at the entrances and exits of the clergy, in the convergence and ascension of faces, in going around the throne and temple and in church processions.” Adding a very important thought for me that “He who has tasted the spell of antiquity knows well to what extent it is all antique and lives as a legacy and the only direct branch of the ancient world, in particular, the sacred tragedy of Hellas.

Well, as always, I think that the origins of such Greek dancing can be found in the Minoan and Crete-Mycenaean cultures. In the Heraklion Museum you can see groups of clay figurines depicting women whirling in a dance, dating back to the 17th-13th centuries BC. Images on jewelry, seals and vessels also indicate that dance was a very important part of the Minoan ritual. Not far from Knossos, round-shaped platforms were found, which are considered to be dancing. Mentions that certain dances came to Greece from Crete are also found in ancient literature from Homer to Pausanias and Pliny.

Plutarch, for example, tells that, having stopped on the island of Naxos, Theseus dances the geranos, the dance of the crane: “measured movements first in one direction, then in the other, as if reproduce the intricate passages of the Labyrinth.” Daedalus is also credited with the construction of the dance floor for Ariadne, where he laid out all the figures with white relief marble, copying them from the Egyptian labyrinth. Eustathius writes that the crane dance at Knossos was the first dance in which men and women danced together. Lucian lists such themes for dances in Crete: Europe, Pasiphae, two bulls, Labyrinth, Ariadne, Phaedra, Androgeus, Daedalus, Icarus, Glaucus, Polyides, Talos. Geranos is described by Pollux: “The “crane” danced all together one after another in rows, and at both ends of each row there were their own leaders.”

Here I cannot fail to point out that until now in Crete this type of dance is considered primordial, folk, and every Cretan can dance one of its varieties. For example, I’ll just attach a video of an excellent flash mob in Chania, when the entire embankment danced “pentozals”. Well, how can one not recall sirtaki, which, although not a folk dance, was created on their basis and largely repeats the traditional “hisapiko”.

As for Dionysianism, I will step on my song's throat, since this topic requires a separate discussion.

Learn more