How to say dance in greek

Greek Words for Dance | Masterpiece Ministries 4dance

Dance Theology – Greek Words

1.      Evidence of Dance in the New Testament

To dance, leap, bow, worship, rejoice, joy, praise, thanksgiving, be glad – all of these words, when taken back to their root word and original meaning, translate into some form of dance and  movement unto the Lord.  In studying the New Testament for dance, we must search a little harder for the evidence of dance and its significance for us today. In the New Testament, the evidence of dance first comes from the actual scriptures that have the word dance in the verbiage.

1. Matthew 11:17 says – “and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you didn’t dance. We mourned for you, and you didn’t lament.'(KJV) The word dance in this scripture transliterates into the Greek word “orcheomai,” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #3738) it simply means to dance, which comes from the root word “orchos” – a row or ring dance; to dance from the rank like or regular motion. The meaning indicates that dance is used for celebration and joy and that dance was being accompanied by the playing of the flute. It is defined as done in a ring or row which indicates more than one person; either a gathering or company. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary also defines it as “to lift up” as of the feet; hence, “to leap with regularity of motion.”  In addition, this scripture is spoken directly by Christ! He gives all authority to the use of dance in the New Testament by his statements including dance.

Evidence – dance is continued to be used in celebration and expressions of joy in the New Testament.

Evidence – the dance is referred to by Christ Himself, giving credibility and authority to the existence of dance in the culture.

2. Matthew 14:6 and Mark 6:22 When the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and those sitting with him. The king said to the young lady, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.The word dance in these scripture is also “orchos” Strong’s #3738 – to dance. The reference here is to the daughter of Herodias – Salome – dancing for King Herod. This scripture is often used to show that dancing is evil.  It is argued that the dance is what lead King Herod to kill John the Baptist. Actually, when read in context, what we see is that first Salome danced then she was asked what she wanted as a gift for dancing so beautifully. Her dancing pleased King Herod. Pleased simply means that she found approval for her execution of the dancing. Some try to inject that she did a wonton dance of the seven veils and that Herod was sexually excited. Barnes says that she possibly did the dance of the lonics and that Salome’ violated all the rules of propriety and modesty. A woman was not to be seen dancing in the presence of men. They were kept in a Harem away from public view. (Barnes notes on the Bible) Thus, the idea forms that the dancing she executed was not appropriate either.  Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible notes that music and dancing were usual and common appendages at feasts. Gills also adds that “but from the airs, gestures, and motions of the lady in dancing; which were so extremely fine and regular, that she gave wonderful satisfaction and delight to Herod, and the whole company.” Thus, her dancing was so technically and musically correct that everyone there enjoyed her performance. Vine’s says that the dance of Salome was the only clear instance of “artistic” dancing, a form introduced from Greek culture.

Since this dance is defined as a row or ring dance, we can also surmise that there were other dancers involved. Why does the Bible only mention Salome? Maybe Salome was singled out because she was Herod’s step daughter, or perhaps that her movements were superior to the others dancing. Another option could be that she the only one mentioned because she was manipulated into helping kill John the Baptist.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Evidence – Dance is used during and as a regular part of celebration of the culture as seen in Salome’ dancing for King Herod’s birthday.

Evidence – Dances’ value as a tool is strong and respected enough to command a high price.

3. Luke 7:32 “They are like children who sit in the marketplace, and call one to another, saying, ‘We piped to you, and you didn’t dance…”.(orchos Strong’s #3738) Here again, we see dance utilized in daily activities, even displayed in public, not kept hidden behind closed doors in the kings harem. Jesus is teaching and making a comparison to the children who imitated the pipers at weddings, expecting their companions would have danced, as was usually done by the others, when the pipe or flute was played. (Gills Exposition of the entire Bible) This mimicking establishes that dance was still a part of and approved of in the Jewish culture. Dance was utilized enough that the children could learn and repeat the dances displayed at weddings, feasts and other celebrations.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Evidence – The fact that the children had the opportunities to learn the dances relates that dance was still being used in the community in daily activities and other events.

4. Luke 15:25 – “Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.” The scene we come upon here is the return of the prodigal son to his father. (The father representing God and the son represents us-his children)The father was ecstatic about the return of his son and called for a celebration through music and dancing. The word dancing here translates into “choros (Strong’s #5525) denoted as “an enclosure for dancing, hence a company of dancers and singers.” (Vine’s) We can surmise that there was a company of dancers or even a gathering, who came to help celebrate the return of the prodigal son. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, relates this form of dancing to the scriptures; Ex 15:20, 2Sa 6:14, Ps 30:11, 126:1, 149:3, 150:4 Ec. 3:4, Jer 31:4. Because his father called for music and dancing let’s us know that the dancing is as important and thus regularly used in their celebrations along with the music. Added note – “Choros” is also where we get our English words – choreography and chorus.

Evidence – The father called for the dancing, signifying dancing’s continued use in celebration.

Evidence – Jesus used dancing in this parable to help demonstrate the joy of the father upon the return of the son- we must remember that this parable is a shadow or example of how God rejoices when we return to Him. Thus, he wants and calls for dancing and singing i.e. rejoicing about our salvation.

5. There are others words used in the New Testament that give us clear instances of dance movement.  That is why we look closely at the scriptures and must translate accurately from the Greek and Aramaic language.

Agalliao (Strong’s #21) is Greek for rejoice and means – to jump for joy as in Matthew 5:12 “rejoice and be glad, jump for joy…” and there are eleven occurrences of this particular word rejoice.

Skirteo (Strong’s #4640) meaning “to leap or jump for joy” – is used three times as in Luke 1:41 “It happened, when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, that the baby” leaped” in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit”;

Also, in Acts 3:8a “Leaping up, he stood, and began to walk…  “exallomai” (Strong’s #1814) means “to spring forth, leap up.

The word “hallamai” (Strong’s #232) means “to jump” as in Acts 3:8b, “He entered with them into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God.”

 In Matthew 4:9 you have the word “proskuneo” (Strong’s #4352) which means “to worship, to prostrate yourself in homage.” Literally it means “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.” The Helps Word Study says that it, “suggests the willingness to make all necessary physical gestures of obeisance,” an act of complete submission and humbleness.  Proskuneo is used forty times in the New Testament.

In the Fenton Translation Ephesians 5:19 says – “….singing and making melody” the word melody means “dancing” and translates to the Greek word “psallo,” (Strong’s #5567) primarily to twitch and twang.

The word “joy” translates into agalliao, kauchaomai (Strong’s #2744) and Chairo (Strong’s #5463) – “to rejoice,” and is listed under verb, denoting action and movement.

Likewise, the word “glad” translates into the same Greek words as above – “Rejoice” and “to make glad” and are counted as the same.  As in Mt. 5:12a Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven:” Quoting Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, he says “leap for joy.” There are several cases on record, where this was literally done by the martyrs, in Queen Mary’s days.”

In Acts 19:16 the man possessed by the evil spirit “leaped upon” the Seven Sons of Sieve and beat them down. The word used here is “ephallomai” (Strong’s # 2177). (Make His Praise Glorious! Apostle Pamela Hardy pg.4, 5, 14, 16, Vine’s)

In 1 Corinthians 10:7 – “Neither be ye idolaters, as [were] some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. This definition is the Greek word paizo (Strong’s #3815) means:  to play, sport – includes singing and dancing. Barnes notes on the Bible is quoted as stating “…and rose up to play – (paizein – Strong’s #3815). The Hebrew word used in Exodus 32:6 (tsaachaq Strong’s #6711) means “to laugh, to sport, to jest, to mock, to insult” Genesis 21:9; and then to engage in dances accompanied with music, in honor of an idol. This was often practiced, as the worship of idols was celebrated with songs and dances. This is particularly affirmed of this instance of idol worship Exodus 32:19; and this was common among ancient idolaters; and this mode of worship was even adopted by David before the ark of the Lord; 2 Samuel 6:5; 1 Chronicles 13:8; 1 Chronicles 15:29.  The word “to play” here necessarily implies that of choral songs and dances…”

Additionally, the Bibles’ use of the word “thanksgiving,” also translates into the Greek word “chairo” meaning “to rejoice i.e. jump for joy”.

Lastly, I must mention Prochorus (Strong’s #4402) in Acts 6:5. He was a Christian and deacon in the church, whose name means –“one who leads in the dance.” Naming someone in those times was very important because the name referred to your occupation or a personality trait. So, we have “pro” which means before and “choros” means “dance company, round or circle dance.”

2.      Polarity of dance in the New Testament (Good vs. Evil)

 There are many arguments for dance being “good” or for being “evil”. What the dance minister must understand is that all through the Old and New Testament, dance is simply a tool that is used to worship and praise, whether it is God the Father or idols. We must reflect upon the intent and focus of the dance to determine if it’s appropriate. We must recognize which scriptures are being used for both arguments, in order to get an understanding of each side and to be able to apply it to our ministries today.

Suggested “Good” dancing includes; Exodus 15:20 where Miriam lead the women in celebrating and praising God for the victory over the Egyptians. In I Samuel 18:6-7, 21:11, 29:5 and II Samuel 6:14-16, David danced and lead the Israelites to worship God and give Him glory and honor (A time of rejoicing). Psalms 149:3 and 150:4 command us to use dance in the sanctuary and also while praising God along with other instruments. (Our bodies being our instrument, used for worship)  Other scriptures with good dancing movement are; Matthew 11:17, Luke 15:25 (to greet a returning son), Acts 3:8 and Revelations 19:7. Of course, there are many more that could be mentioned.

Suggested “Evil” dancing would include Exodus 32:19, where Moses came back from receiving the Ten Commandments and “saw the calf and the dancing.”(Idol worship)  In Judges 21:21-23, the Israelites instructed the Benjamite men to capture the women while they were dancing and to take them as wives.(lustful exhibition) In Job 21:7-12, They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance; This scripture indicates that the children are healthy, happy and the image is one simply of health, abundance, exuberance of feeling, cheerfulness and prosperity, (Barnes) Gills adds to this “and it should be observed, it is “their” children, the children of the wicked, and not of the godly, that are thus brought up. (Gills Exposition of the Bible) Meaning that, only the wicked, sinful people teach their children to dance, because dance is sinful.

I Samuel 30:16 – where King David and the Almalekite slave came upon the Amalekites raiding party reveling or dancing in victory.  Matthew 14:6 (to inflame lust), Mark 6:22 (lustful exhibition) both speak of Salome, the daughter of Herodias who, under the guidance of her mother, asked for John the Baptist’ head after her dancing pleased King Herod.

The argument for or against dance would be a thesis, but let us remember a few scriptures that the Bible gives us;

  1. John 1:3 – All things were  made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
  2. Romans 11:36 – For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.
  3. Revelations  4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
  4. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.

Dr. Ann Stevenson expounds upon these scriptures in her book “Dance (God’s Holy Purpose)” that “by putting the definitions of pleasure (Strong’s #2307 – thelema) and purpose (Strong’s #2654-chaphets) together along with the other scriptures, we are inclined and can determine that God’s heart was to create the dance. It was His choice and purpose to make it an acceptable, enjoyable, valuable, delightful thing, fulfilling His desire with the purpose of bringing Him pleasure according to His will.”

3.      Confirmation of Dance in the New Testament

 Comparing the Old Testament scriptures to the New Testament Scripture will help us to see that the consistency of the Bible confirms the presence of dance in the New Testament and that it dance must be treated equally as important as in the Old Testament. Here are a few examples;

Old Testament       New Testament         Hebrew word        Greek word
Ps. 26:7-That I may publish with the voice of  thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.    1 Tim. 2:8 – I will therefore that men pray   every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.         Todah        epairo
I Samuel 2:1- And Hannah prayed, and said, My   heart rejoiceth in the LORD, Mt. 5:12- Rejoice, and be   exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: Ealats, pazaz Agalliao,
Exodus 15:20 – And Miriam the   prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the   women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. Luke 15:25 – “Now his   elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he   heard musick and dancing. mechowlah choros
2 Samuel 22:30 – For by thee I have run   through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. Acts 3:8 -And he leaping up   stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and   leaping, and praising God. dalag Exallomai
Exodus 33:10 – And all the people saw the   cloudy pillar stand [at] the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and   worshipped, every man [in] his tent door. Matthew 4:9 – And saith unto him,   All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. shachah Proskuneo
1 King’s 4:31- For he   was wiser than all men; than Ethan the   Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol Strong’s #4235 Strong’s #4402 –   leader of the dance company Acts 6:5 Mahol Prochoros


Typology is an approach to the interpretation of the Scriptures found in the New Testament and in the writings of the Church Fathers, which sees certain people and events in the Old Testament (Types) as foreshadowing things fulfilled in the New Testament. (Introducing Dance in the Christian Worship– Gagne, Kane and VerEecke & Orthodox  …this approach was expressed by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:16-17: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” What this means for us is that dance, which is so evident in the Old Testament Scriptures, does not have to be revealed as readily in the New Testament because the Old Testament prefigured or shadowed the New Testament. Plainly said, the Old Testament set the standard or the example for the New Testament and for us today.

Additionally, we can rely on the Old Testament Scriptures to proclaim the validity of Dance because of the Jewish tradition of presuming the presence of something without the need to mention it explicitly.   (Introducing Dance in Christian Worship)

Drawing upon the evidence of the presence of dance in the New Testament Scriptures, the ongoing debate of good dance versus evil dance, which quotes both the Old and New Testaments and comparing the words that depict dance and movement in the Old and New Testaments; we can surely see the significance of dance in the New Testament and for our use in today’s liturgy.

The Ancient Greek word that all dancers should know | by Jason Pu

Lil G in Egypt. (Source: Mohab Magdy/Red Bull Content Pool)

Lil G is a Venezuelan b-boy renowned for his ability to execute original, inhuman power moves in sync with the music. A member of Super Cr3w and Red Bull BC One All Stars, he has traveled the world as a competitor, performer, judge, and teacher.

Picture this: I’m scrolling through my Instagram, and to no surprise, Lil G is on the list of recommended pages. I tap the name “lilgvenezuela” and skim his profile. The first line reads, “Kairos ☄God Is The Way.”

So I’ve learned that Lil G believes in God, and the circular emoji is supposed to be a comet. I also vaguely recall that there’s a religious youth retreat named Kairos. Lil G probably doesn’t have the spare time to work as a Bible camp counselor. Hoping to satisfy my curiosity, I type “kairos” into the search bar.

Passing perfection

Kairos is an Ancient Greek word that means “the right, critical, or opportune moment” (Wikipedia). It’s one of the two words for time — the other is chronos, which is the quantitative form of time that we usually think of.

Maybe gnarly bald spots were considered beautiful during the Italian Renaissance. (Francesco Salviati, “Time as Occasion”.)

The ancient Greek personification of opportunity is Caerus, a young and beautiful god. He holds a razor, or sometimes a pair of scales balancing on a sharp edge, to represent fleeting moments in time.

All dancers are in search of these fleeting moments, of beautiful kairos. It is the fullness, the perfection that comes from seizing an opportunity with all of your spirit. It’s the satisfaction that you get when you stick a freeze just the way you planned. It’s the joy of losing yourself in the music and being able to move without worries or inhibition. It can be a life-changing moment, or a small instance of fulfillment.

A certain persuasion

The word kairos has its roots in archery, where it refers to “the moment in which an arrow may be fired with sufficient force to penetrate a target” (Wikipedia). There are similarly crucial moments in dance battles, especially for breaking.

In a battle, we want to perform our techniques in the right way, at the right time. Thus we effectively convince the judges and the crowd of our victory. Classical rhetoric originally incorporated kairos in this sense — persuading audiences by saying the right thing at the right time.

Aaron Hess, Assistant Professor of Communication at Indiana University, defines the kairos of rhetoric in two parts: 1. Recognizing a situation as opportune, and 2. Being knowledgeable of and involved in the surrounding environment. In relation to breaking (and various other disciplines), this translates to the following points.

1. Recognizing opportunities to freestyle

Freestyling is a spontaneous aspect of dance that evokes amazement and delight. This effect can often turn the tide of a battle.

During the Stance stream of Massive Monkees Weekend, Ark of 808 Breakers explained the three common forms of freestyle in breaking. The most common form is performing an impromptu movement to hit an accent in the music. For example, if you see a b-boy suddenly do shuffles during a drum roll, it’s likely that he recognized the musical opportunity and used a simple technique accordingly.

Skaters work within landscapes, we work within music. -Jeff “Ark” Wong

The second way to freestyle is to modify your planned sets. Many breakers have premeditated combinations of moves (sets/combos/“bangers”). The freestyle aspect comes from performing these moves in different orders or with different characteristics. If you expect a song to climax early, you can perform the highlight of your set earlier. If a song has repeated accents, you can repeat a move or sequence to match.

Then, there’s “pure freestyle,” which is full musical immersion and instinctual movement. Imagine a baby dancing without a care. He doesn’t care who’s watching or whether he looks silly, he’s just having the time of his life. Pure freestyle is effective in competition when you have the internalized vocabulary to support it. Because it has no restrictions, this form of freestyle can be used at any opportune moment — aim well and let your arrow fly.

The purest freestyle, straight from the warehouse.

2. Understanding the conversation

As with rhetoric, it’s important to express yourself in a way that your audience can digest. The most basic requirement is to speak the same language. Imagine how counterproductive a 30 second krump solo would be in a breaking battle. It’s like trying to debate in German when everyone else only speaks English.

Advanced b-boys/b-girls, fluent in the language, should understand that a battle is a conversation, and how to make statements within that context. Structuring rounds as narratives and using clear themes are examples of ways to amplify the effect of those statements. With these techniques, you’ll be ready to dive headfirst into kairos, the perfect opportunity, when it arrives.

Like conversations, battles have ebbs and flows. Whether one dancer has been performing better than the other, or the two are in a deadlock, each gets their own turn. There are always opportunities to seize the momentum. Factors like the music, your opponent’s mistakes, and your remaining repertoire can combine to reveal a path to victory. The rest is just timing.

Maybe your goal isn’t to win dance battles. Nonetheless, you can express yourself more effectively if you recognize opportunities and understand your environment. This applies to everything from competitions, to cyphers, to performances, and even to situations outside the realm of dance.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini mashup of breaking, rhetoric, and etymology. Go forth, seek kairos, and keep your eyes open. I’m sure you’ll find the right moment.


I asked Lil G what kairos means to him, and he replied, “Kairos = is when the sky becomes one with the earth, the perfect time.” The comet emoji makes a lot more sense with that explanation.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or feedback. Follow me on Instagram @glissando for the latest updates, and please share to spread the knowledge. Thanks for reading — peace!

Dances of Greece - Moscow Society of Greeks

Dance is one of the oldest means of self-expression: in Greece, its origins go back to the 1000th century BC. e. Dance owes its origin to the need to express those feelings that cannot be expressed in words. It is inextricably linked with all aspects of human life: holidays, love, work, and even death. Dance is the voice of the soul, expressed by the movements of the body; it helps us express our personality, stimulates creativity and liberates.

Dance is not just a game, it is a ritual that is one of the most vital aspects of the cultural wealth of any nation, a source of inspiration and creativity. Traditional dances are closely intertwined with the manners and customs of the Greeks. Folk Greek dances are exceptionally varied. They are divided into different categories depending on the purpose (love, military and religious), on gender (male, female and mixed), on the region (folk, local, island). In addition, dances are divided into fast, consisting of bouncing, and slow, with calm smooth movements.

The ancient Greeks believed that dance is a gift from the gods to man, which makes it possible to forget all sorrows and make life more beautiful, filling it with joy and fun. This delightful art was revered by the ancient peoples throughout Hellas. And today, the art of dance, which has not lost its value, remains loved by many people. Dance ennobles our life and takes us to a beautiful mythical world, we just have to approach it with respect and love.

Continuity of folk dances

The colorfulness and variety of folk dances, most of which are characterized by an erotic element, combined with the picturesqueness and color of local costumes, is the best way to get acquainted with Greek culture.

Today's traditional dances are a true continuation of the ancient dances, as evidenced by the rhythm and movements of most of them. This is irrefutably proved by descriptions of dances in ancient texts, drawings on bas-reliefs, frescoes found during archaeological excavations carried out in Greece.

Dance of the Byzantine period

It is amazing that even during the Byzantine period, despite the hostility of both the Orthodox and the Catholic Christian Church towards the performers of ancient dances, some rhythms survived and were loved by the people. The dances of this period were cyclic, i.e. circular, with elements leading directly to today's folk traditional practice. For example, the Byzantine dance sirtos was performed by a group of dancers holding hands with handkerchiefs in their hands, over time it turned into a mixed dance. The Pyrrichios and Kordakas dances also survived from that era, the last of which was an ancient obscene dance performed by theater actors.

Dance and Turkish rule

During the Turkish rule, dance, combined with its integral part of song, became a powerful weapon against alienation and loss of national identity. It is important to note that during this period, new types of dances were born, depicting the heroic deeds of the Greeks and the great events in the life of Greece, which further strengthened the moral opposition to slavery. These dances include the kangelevtos in Halkidiki, the makrinitsa in Naousa and the zalonga dance in Ipiro.

Kleftikos dance

Kleftikos dance was closely connected with the military training and recreation of the irregular armed forces of the klefts (partisans of the era of the national liberation struggle of the Greek people against the Ottoman Empire). After the liberation and the creation of the first Greek state, Greek music and dances were a true expression of folk traditions, a reflection of historical events and changes taking place in the regions where these dances and songs were born and formed.

Etymology of Greek dance names

  • with lyrics accompanying it
  • with accommodation for dancers
  • with hand position
  • with the name of some items used during the dance (for example, a scarf).
  • Dances, depending on the nature of the movements, are also divided into two groups: πηδηχτούς - with jumps and συρτούς - with smooth movements. The first type contains various bounces and “flights”, while the second type is performed with smooth, pulling movements without leaving the ground. Of course, this difference is conditional and not the only one. Even the same dance changes from performer to performer and from region to region.

    It is obvious that the features of the area play an important role in shaping the dance style. So, for example, island dances are more lively, with complex foot movements reminiscent of the movement of the waves of the Aegean Sea. On the contrary, dances in mountainous places are performed more heavily, intensely, with a kind of stubbornness, reminiscent of the struggle of a person with harsh nature and the hardships of mountain life.

    The most common form of Greek dance is circular, but there are also Διπλοκάγκελο (double lattice), Ευθεία Γραμμή (straight line), for example, in the dance of argo hasapiko or Φυσούνι, where paired movements are used. A significant place in Greek dances is occupied by the so-called labyrinth form. These dances are directly related to the ancient dances that were born on the basis of the legend of Theseus and the Minoan labyrinth. In them, the dancers change each other in the movements of a semicircle, creating a real picture of the labyrinth in the dance being performed.

    There are five versions of these dances, depending on the type of "serpent" created in the process of the dance, and in total there are 35 dances in the areas where the Greeks live or lived. The most famous labyrinth dance is the Tsakonikos, a Peloponnesian dance in 5/8 time.

    Greek geography

    A mainland

    Latering includes Macedonia, Central Greece, Peloponnese. In western Macedonia, depending on the melody, rhythm and pattern of the dance, two categories are distinguished. One is characteristic of the southern and western regions of Olympus and resembles the style of Thessalian dances, while the other is common in the plains and urban areas of Pieria, Veria, Naousa, Kozani, Kastoria and Florina, acquiring its own local character in each locality.

    In the regions of central Macedonia, there was a greater interest in the rhythm of the dance under the influence of the Balkan peoples. Here we meet the rhythms of bagpipes, the local type of hasapiko and dances of the three. In this area, in addition to the local population, settlers live from the Black Sea coast (Pontos), from eastern Rumelia, Macedonia and Vlachia. All these nationalities brought their own flavor, their manners to local traditional dances. Despite the heterogeneity of origin, the inhabitants of Macedonia have managed to maintain a common dialect and traditions that have developed over the centuries. For example, sarakatsans most often perform the dance of three, tsamiko and wedding dances.

    The songs accompanying the dances often talk about the life and exploits of the klefts (partisans during the years of Turkish rule). It should be noted also the local dances of Argythea, the southern mountainous region of Thessaly. These dances are called "closed", it is a kind of tsamiko at a slow pace with heavy movements, in which the influence of the folk dances of the Epirus region (northern region of Greece) is clearly visible. In the dances of the inhabitants of the Pelion region, the influence of the rhythms of folk dances from the islands of the Aegean Sea bordering Macedonia is obvious, so common forms of rhythm, music and dance were formed here. The place of each dancer is strictly defined, and many dances are performed without instrumental accompaniment.

    A characteristic of mainland dances is that the main dancer leads the entire dance group and can even make small changes at his own discretion to a strictly defined dance pattern. In his hand he holds a handkerchief, which he waves in accordance with the rhythm of the music, while giving the necessary signs to the rest of the dancers. In some dances (for example, in the bagpipe, darling, fighter), the lead dancer leads the group in a labyrinth pattern. Such dances carry elements of imitation of ancient rituals, where the dancers depicted the transition from life to death, the protection of the living from the dead, the dead from evil invisible spirits, etc.

    Island group

    Island dances, in particular the Aegean islands, are group dances with a predominance of an open or closed ring element. In parallel, there is also the concept of soloists dancing individually (zempekiko) or in pairs (bali). The rhythm of the dancing couple is fast, lively and cheerful, as opposed to the slow rhythm of the group.

    A feature of island dances in the Aegean basin is ease of movement, sliding on the knees, low jumps of soloists and, in general, the richness and variety of forms of movement. All of this is in contrast to mainland dances, which are characterized by heavy, dynamic movements, solid steps with long exits, slow deep squats and unexpected vertical jumps.

    Naturally, there are local differences in the performance of island dances. For example, the Susta dance is performed heavily and strictly on the island. Karpathos, easy, with jumps on Rhodes and in a calm rhythm on about. Simi.

    Echoes of the Minoan culture today

    Echoes of the dances of the Minoan era in Crete are still felt today. According to legend, these traditions have been preserved since the time of the goddess Rhea, the mother goddess, who was the first to teach the Kurites the dance technique so that the cry of the newborn Zeus could not be heard. So the dance, which personifies courage and courage, has entered deeply into the life of the Cretans since ancient times. Not a single holiday in Crete passes without dancing. Despite the fact that the dancing of the inhabitants of Crete is very diverse, such dances as apanomeritis (απανωμερίτης), small-small (το μικρό μικράκι), angalastos (ο αγκαλιαστός), gradexes (ο ο ο πριμν). . But such dances as susta (σούστα), sirtos (συρτός), pentozali (πεντοζάλης), siganos (σιγανός) and castrinos (καστρινός) or mateviziotis (μαλεβιζιώτης) have been preserved and performed.

    The most common dance in Crete is Sirtos or Chaniotikos. Often it is performed to different melodies depending on the area where it is danced, but the main rhythm is always preserved and emphasized - two-dimensional.

    Greek folk dance today

    As dynamic as the development of folk dances was before the Second World War, today, especially in cities, its decline is observed. This phenomenon is naturally explained by the fact that the living conditions of people have changed radically, and the modern way of life no longer corresponds to the conditions in which these dances were born and developed.

    This in no way means that a person has stopped loving or has stopped feeling fear of the unknown. It's just that the forms of expression of feelings have become different, the solution to emerging situations has become more standard and often left to third parties, as a result of which the old image of entertainment, which undoubtedly includes folk dances, is gradually disappearing.

    However, the stamina and endurance of the Greek nation were tested in much more difficult conditions than today, the Greeks survived many years of slavery and war. Opposition to the idea of ​​cultural globalization and the unification of all folk traditions have already begun to manifest themselves, and folk dances once again have to play their role here. Modern Greeks continue to remember their national origins, do not forget and develop their national traditions, including dance ones.

    In the countryside of Greece, as well as in the cities of the country, numerous cultural centers and groups that practice folk traditional dances have been created and operate. The activity of folk dance teachers is priceless. It can be said that they were honored to hold the inextinguishable torch of traditions, which will point the way to the future and demonstrate the individuality of the Greeks as a nation. There are, unfortunately, dance groups representing Greek pseudo-folklore, far from national origins.

    In the next publication we will try to present you the main types of dances from different regions of Greece, briefly describe the circumstances under which they were created and when they were performed.

    Source :

    Zeibekiko (dance, rhythm, style) - a collection of Greek songs

    1 Ακούνε τα ζεϊμπέκικα
    Σαν το "Πάτερ Ημών" waltz or saidi . On the right of the video, a young man is dancing zeybeko , the melody on the video is "Zeybeko Evdokia". It is very easy to determine zeibekiko by ear - it is always a specific, ragged rhythm - 9/4 or 9/8: we count to 9 to the beat of the music, if a new beat begins - most likely, this is exactly zeibekiko . As soon as I started to get involved in Greek music, songs in the style of zeybeko immediately became my favorite, although then I still did not understand and did not know that all of them can be attributed to zeybeko .

    There are several versions of the origin of the word "zeybeko" .
    The most amusing thing is obtained if you parse the word in parts: ζει - lives, μπε - a sheep makes such a sound, κικ - English. kick, kick, ο - an expression of delight, that is, zeybeko is a dance of a living person who kicks sheep, and everyone admires him.
    The second option is Ζεϋ + μπέκος (βέκος) - Zeus + bread, while Zeus symbolizes the soul, and bread - the body, and zeybeko - their harmony, that is, everything a dancer needs. Or here's another version Ζευς + Βάκχος - Zeus and Bacchus, aka Dionysus, the god of winemaking - and where there is wine, there is dancing.

    But in most cases it is believed that the word zeybeko comes from the dance zeybeks - a small nation that lived on the territory of Asia Minor, this word was first mentioned in the 13th century. Zeybeks are neither Turks nor Greeks, and in general they did not submit to either Greek or Turkish rulers, retained their national identity, and at first religion, but they constituted an irregular army of the Ottoman Empire, and later were massacred by the Turks for disobedience. The dance zeybeks was adopted by both Greeks and Turks - in Greek the word ζεϊμπέκικο (zeybek, zeybetic, characteristic of zeybeks) is used for it, in Turkish - zeybek . From Turkish zeybek translates as elder brother, friend, protector, but it is argued that in older Turkish it also meant a hooligan knife or defensive weapon in some villages of southeastern Asia Minor. The massive flow of migrants that

    rushed from Turkey to Greece as a result of the Asia Minor catastrophe

    significantly influenced Greek music, in particular, zeybeko became widespread.

    Turks dance this dance in a group (as in the video on the left), or

    a man with a woman

    (and they do not touch each other), and sometimes

    only a man

    , but always this is an expression of male prowess, courage and some kind of bravado. It is believed that the position of the hands resembles the wings of an eagle, and in general the dance consists of steps, squats and turns. Similarly, in Greece - almost the same position of the hands, only a little lower, the same steps, squats and turns. However, in Greece zeybeko is a purely male dance, every second it is an improvisation and there are no obligatory elements, it is an expression of the mood that the dancer has at the moment. Zeibekiko - Greek man's tragedy dance. On a small, cramped section of the "dance floor" that he can find in a drinking establishment, he expresses his grief and despair in a dance. The songs of zeybeko sang about unfulfilled dreams, unsettled life, social problems of that time, broken love, deceit and death. It is said that the dancing zeibekiko is fighting Death at this moment, and it circles the dancer, drags him into a whirlpool, and he loses all orientation, therefore, at zeibekiko so many turns and lunges. And in some places it is stated that the dance zeybeks depicted a battle followed by a defeat. Therefore, when his comrades are dead, he, dancing zeibekiko , is the only one fighting for survival, even more - he is already dead, but still fighting. His uneven steps reflect his strength - sometimes they end, then again he fights, and when he lightly hits the floor with his hand - it's him, dead, knocking on the doors of hell.

    Often zeibekiko looks like a dance of a drunk person (and sometimes it is called a "drunk dance") - these are deceptive steps, and staggering / swaying the body, falling and lifting, as well as a characteristic slowdown in movements and a subsequent surge of emotions, reminiscent of a temporary sobering up of a drunk , then this is restraint of feelings, then their violence. At the same time, the head is often lowered down, and the dancer himself hunches a little, as if he is alone with his deeply personal tragedy. Interrupt dancing zeybeko at such an intimate moment is considered indecent. Moreover, earlier the exit of the second dancer to the dance floor was an insult, a challenge and an excuse for a fight. However, usually a man dances only one dance, and ends it as soon as the music ends. And then the next one comes out, observing a kind of etiquette. Usually, in a smoky cramped hall, the rest of the visitors over a glass of alcohol either skeptically or with silent understanding look at the dancer, some clap to the beat of the music. Applause after zeybeko were also considered an insult - after all, the Greek danced not for anyone, but to express his pain, and this was the only way to do it. It is impossible to force a Greek to dance if he does not want to, just as it is impossible to keep him if he wants to sing or dance.

    And the Greeks want to dance often. And they dance zeybeko everywhere - at weddings, family holidays, in taverns, clubs and just in open areas. Moreover, modern zeybeko is not always gloomy and tragic, the music is more cheerful and faster, and the Greeks dance to it with a twinkle and enthusiasm. With the same shade of anguish and concentration, the man not only dances, but also diligently flaunts. Zeybekoko becomes a dance for demonstrating dexterity, performing tricks, a dance of self-pride, beloved and unique, Greek to the fingertips. Often these are high jumps with a turn, or touching the floor with the shoulder blades, when the dancer, sitting on his knees, lies on his back. Or, for example, a dancer performs the following number - raises a glass of wine from the floor with his mouth and drinks a glass of wine without touching it with his hands, or dances zeibekiko with a glass on his head, or, for example, jumping on a standing glass on the floor, crushing it into pieces. In general, every Greek expresses himself and tulips as best he can. Zeibekiko in Greece, men of any age dance, boys imitate adults from childhood, repeat their movements - this was the case in the 40s, this is happening now, some schoolboy / teenager can easily make several movements as a joke. Dance zeybeko and older Greeks, already with a special charm, restraint, as opposed to young guys who tend to dance more violently.

    It used to be considered indecent for a woman to dance zeybeko . By the way, I'm not talking about the dance zeybekikos (or also zeybekiko ), which is a folk dance in Cyprus

    and is typical for villages, which is danced in groups, etc. That zeybeko that I mean came from the city, it is a dance of the lower class, which in the post-war period became popular in all walks of life. But even if we leave all class prejudices aside, the woman herself is a soft, flexible and plastic being, and zeibekiko - the dance is in a sense rough, intense, not at all for her. But modern women do not worry about this topic and dance. Despite all my desire to be able to dance zeybeko , I don’t like how they do it, for myself I didn’t find a single video where I really liked it at all. Women just dance otherwise , it seems that the movements are beautiful, but "not that". And

    in this video

    five girls are dancing zeybeko , generally violating all traditions zeybeko and creating a kind of parody of this dance, even the name is something between zeybeko and the songs of Yorgos Zabetas. And everyone sings zeybeko .

    When a Greek dances zeybeko , friends, girlfriends, relatives, etc. they go out to the dance floor to support the dancer, everyone squats around him, girls in short skirts often just kneel, they clap their hands to the beat of the music and enthusiastically look at the dancer, catching his every movement.

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