Monday, September 12, 2011

Glendi, A Greek Celebration (Dancing as a Spectator Sport, Part 2)

A yearly ritual of mine is to go to the Glendi (Greek Festival) held at the Greek Cultural Center in my area. This event draws crowds from miles around; there is authentic Greek food, music and dancing. It lasts for three days and is always held on the second weekend of September.

A band plays on Saturdays and Sundays, and Saturday night, especially is party night, with large groups of people dancing Syrtos, Hasapiko, and Tsamikos until the the band packs up shortly before 11 p.m. The Glendi is less crazy on Sundays, so there is much more room to dance; the party crowd from the evening before is just too tired, and perhaps a little hung over :)

Live music is what draws people to the festival, and the band performs in this video, along with my friends doing the Syrtos, the most popular Greek dance.

One of the highlights of the festival is the performance of the young dancers from St. George Greek Orthodox Church. They give several performances on Saturdays and Sundays and they are very good. Here are some videos I took of them on Sunday afternoon.

The first dance (Syrtos) done to some very modern music...notice the little kids at the end of the line.

This is Pentozali, a dance from the largest Greek island, Crete.

For some background on Pentozali, read:

This dance looks and sounds (almost) Bulgarian, its name is Zonaradikos, the Bulgarian version is Pravo Horo. There is a Thrace in Greece, and a Thrace in Bulgaria, and those are the regions where this dance originated. Zonaradikos is usually done with the dancers holding on to each other's belts (Zonaria is the Greek word for belt), but these young people are using a "basket hold" instead.

For information on Zonaradikos read:

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Dancing as a Spectator Sport:

Bulgarian Dances and Their Greek Relatives:

Folklore, Food and Fun at Festivals:

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