Sunday, April 20, 2014

The "Flavors" of Greek Syrtos

It was Greek to me!
William Shakespeare

Today's dance is Syrtos from Greece and comes in a number of different "flavors" from plain vanilla to the fancier varieties with chocolate sauce and nuts. 

Let's start with the easiest version danced at a Greek festival in California, the vanilla flavor. It's a festive good-time dance, and everyone can join the line..

Another dance,  Kalamantianos, in a slightly different rhythm (7/8, or slow-quick-quick) uses the same steps as the Syrtos. It is related to Syrtos the same way the Bulgarian dance Graovsko Horo is related to Kyustendilska Rachenitsa. You can read about the similarities by following the links at the bottom of this page.

Now we get into the fancier variety of Syrtos.  This is an island version (can anyone tell me which island it's from?) and slightly more complicated; this time we added the chocolate sauce to the vanilla ice cream :)

The dance Karagouna, which incorporates the syrtos steps in the last figure, is the ice cream with chocolate sauce and nuts. (It's really not as hard as it looks). These ladies from Finland do it with feeling, and they have an excellent band, Souvlaki, to accompany them. You can find the lyrics to the song here.

By the way, souvlaki is the Greek version of shish-kebab: seasoned meat and vegetables skewered on a stick and grilled; it's often served with pita bread. The meat can be lamb, pork or chicken. It's very tasty.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Folklore, Food and Fun at Festivals

Bulgarian Dances and Their Greek Relatives

A Family Resemblance: Theme and Variations (Graovsko Horo and its relationship to Kyustendilska Rachenitsa.)

A Happy Easter to all!  Don't forget to read my Easter post.

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