Greek Dance: Art, Beauty, Ancient, Life, Nature and Passionless. Folklore dances as well as holistic dance are for healing results. Even in the earlier years the Greek culture along with the Roman culture has uniquely mixed art and nature with dance. Dance and music are a mixture of purity and spiritual ecstasy. Completely leaving the body.
Back in BC there were two daughters of Father Asclepius. Hygieia represented the prevention of disease. Her name also meaning hygiene. Pancacea symbolized all healing. Healing rituals were done in healing temples and were based on the trinity of Asclepius, Hygieia and Panacea. Asclepius was the son of the solar god Apollo. The patron of music, arts, sciences and healing. Asclepius was the known as the god of healing. Several famous cures took place with a special herb. Some beliefs back in ancient Greece were two vials of blood, given by Athena (mother of Asclepius) had power to save lives and resurrect the dead.
Greek fables and dramas arecrafted to teach humanity ethical conduct. And is displayed very much so in music and dance. Traditions handed down from the Egyptian Osirian rites and the school of Thoth. Healers are servants of nature and help the cycle of birth and life. Studies of astronomy, astrology, medicine, language mathematics, and the psychology of religious rituals. There is a very strong and ancient connection between Hellenic Greeks and the Egyptians.
Philosophies that we use today as "know thyself" and " everything in moderation". Are still the best remedies that one can use in ones daily life for applying correct balance.
They use dance as a means of celebration and always a spiritual form of expressing their souls. Music is within the person. But a live band is welcomed. Dance is spontaneous. Improvised by the individual. And danced differently from the way it was before. Enjoyed at home or at a wedding, amongst family and friends. All religious holidays. As well as some of the local taverns having dance. Self-expression of joy, pride and strength as well as anger, sadness and sensual.
To correctly learn these dances. It is best to find a dancer from the culture. Who truly understands the spirit of the Greek passion and spontaneity. The individual dancer or leader may use several variations of steps. It is their particular mood at the time that will enhance their creativity. Male lead dancers are known for their squat steps and slapping of the feet. As a general rule. Other individual dancers should not try and copy the leader. To support the lead dancer. One may hold a scarf.
There is over a thousand diverse Greek dances. And here a just a few:
Healing Dances: There are two kinds of ecstatic dissociation dances and dance rituals of classical Greece. Today in the present they still connect very strongly with the past. Fire dancing is performed in parts of Northern Greece and Bulgaria. This dance is in celebration of St. Helena. In their beliefs, she was the founder of the true cross. Considered a ritual, along with stage and in theater.
Tsifte-Teli (Greek Belly Dance): Originated thousands of years ago among the non-Greek natives of Asia Minor as fertility dances. This dance was learned from the Turks and it was brought back to Athens.
Several Folklore Dances:
Syrtos/Kalamatiano: is known as the national dance of Greece. Danced everywhere in one form or another. The dance is to express happiness. Syrtos means dragging or pulling. An ancient type of dance that has a smooth flowing style. Kalamata was known for its silk. And is the song of the Syrtos dance. The song is about a lover
giving a handkerchief to the one who is the sign of their affection. Both male and female are in a broken circle with hands joined at the shoulder. Elbows are bent and facing downward. Hands are placed back by the shoulders. Men can be fore aggressive. At times there may be a line of just women or men. Which will set the tone on this dance. Accompanied by musicians, this dance could be smooth or dancers could improvise with a lot of jumping.
Zeibekikos: This is considered a solo dance. Expressing sadness. Very popular throughout the Hellenic world. Originating from the people of Zeybeks, who were neither Greek nor Turkish. Both Greek and Turkish have developed their own style. Today it is only common amongst Greeks in Cyprus. Steps are highly improvised.
Tamikos Dance: Expressing heroic and masculine emotions. Popular in the south and it is known as the men's dance. Some believe the name came from the clothes of klepthes. Who were the mountain fighters in the Greek War. This dance gives the male an opportunity to display his acrobatic skills. There are slow versions of this dance, as well as faster.
Karsilamas/Antikrystos Dance: Meaning face to face. Known as a couple's dance. Steps are generally improvised from a basic pattern. Partners move, mirroring each other. Different regions have different styles.